Eyeroller: UW Madison says weather, er 'climate change' is affecting soybean yields amid record high yields

That climate change is sneaky, it hides the ‘damage’ via ‘weather variations resulting from climate change’ in record high soybean yields, as seen in this graph I located from Kansas State University:

Soybean Annual Balance Sheet_12741_image001Color me unimpressed with this press release, which boils down to nothing more than a statement of “we could have had a better year if the weather was better”.


Climate change costing soybean farmers

Form the University of Wisconsin-Madison

MADISON – Even during a good year, soybean farmers nationwide are, in essence, taking a loss. That’s because changes in weather patterns have been eating into their profits and taking quite a bite: $11 billion over the past 20 years.

This massive loss has been hidden, in effect, by the impressive annual growth seen in soybean yields thanks to other factors. But that growth could have been 30 percent higher if weather variations resulting from climate change had not occurred, according to a study by University of Wisconsin-Madison agronomists published last month in Nature Plants.

“We are still making yield gains because of breeding and other strategies, but those numbers aren’t as big as they could be,” says lead author Shawn Conley, a UW-Madison agronomy professor and UW-Extension soybean and wheat specialist.

Averaging the data across the United States, researchers found that soybean yields fell by around 2.4 percent for every one-degree rise in temperature. In Wisconsin and most other northern states, including South Dakota and Minnesota, the changes in climate factors actually led to higher soybean yields. Wisconsin, for instance, saw an increase of 17.5 kilograms per hectare per year over the 20 years studied. However, most soybean-growing states farther south, including Ohio, Arkansas and Kentucky, experienced decreases in yields.

These divergent responses have to do with historical norms. In colder northern states, soybeans seem to be enjoying the new warmer weather, while in states farther south – where conditions had previously been fairly ideal – the additional heat is causing stress.

Conley’s team isolated the impacts of changing temperature and precipitation on soybean yields in a much more precise way than previously done. While earlier approaches relied on estimates, UW-Madison researchers gathered their own data field trials, giving them access to more reliable and consistent information about the genetics of the soybeans being grown, the management practices being used and the weather the fields saw throughout the growing season. Spyridon Mourtzinis, a post-doctoral fellow in Conley’s lab, then removed the effects of the management strategies and genetic improvements so the team could focus their analysis on the impacts of weather variability.

Because the states with the biggest yield losses are also the nation’s biggest soybean producers, the national impact comes out to a 30 percent yield loss overall.

Conley says that the next step is to help growers minimize this loss by starting or expanding practices such as earlier planting, no-till practices and growing later maturing soybeans. Researchers can help by producing region-specific suggestions that account for weather patterns at different times of the growing season.

Only then, says Conley, can the full potential of soybean yields be realized.

###

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206 thoughts on “Eyeroller: UW Madison says weather, er 'climate change' is affecting soybean yields amid record high yields

  1. Soybean futures prices more than tripled from 2006 to 2012. That tends to lead farmers who have poorer soil/climate conditions to plant crops that have a higher price per bushel. If we only grew soybeans where they grow best, then certainly we could have higher yields per acre. But that’s not how free trade works.

    • Intelligent Farmers will grow a legume in their rotation simply because they improve the soil quality; if the soy crop breaks-even, they’ll come out ahead in the long run. Last year Farmers in my area lost about 25% of their winter wheat due to a late spring, they covered the loss by plowing the wheat under and planting soy.

    • Exactly right. Humans respond to price incentives. Who knew?
      Of course, you’ll never get a government grant to study climate change with that sort of, well, factual approach.

    • Soybeans are planted in rotation with corn to replace the Nitrogen corn removes from the soil. Corn yields are driven by increased use in Ethanol. Corn drives Soybean production.

      • And after record planting corn the past few years farmers will be rotating more to soybean this year.

      • Also, soybeans are photosensitive. Varieties adapted for higher latitudes will not flower correctly at lower latitudes because the daylength at the solstice is too short.

  2. It’s the sheer arrogance and hubris of the assumption that if the weather/climate does not bow to meet the needs of every human enterprise, there must be “something wrong with it”, that gets me every time.

    • Nail, meet hammer. It’s the “I’m the center of the world” syndrome. Not confined to the young, by the way.

  3. If I had some ham, I could have a ham sandwich, if I had some cheese.
    Oh, and some bread too.
    Translation: things could have been better if they had been.

    • Back in 1994 and living up near the U.P., the wife and I had to travel to Madison. That was the first time in my life a saw 6′ 3″ 20 year old man wearing a dress standing in line at a MacDonald’s. Shocked, I tell you! It sure explains a lot.

  4. From the University of Diddley Squat, Professor Nomark said “It’s Even More Worserer Than We Thought. No, honest it is.”

  5. ”Conley says that the next step is to help growers minimize this loss by starting or expanding practices such as earlier planting, no-till practices and growing later maturing soybeans.”
    If “planting earlier” requiring an earlier spring and “growing later maturing crops” requiring a longer growing season increases yield then don’t we have a warmer world to thank for those opportunities? In other words: Global Warming is good for crop yields if one takes advantage of the situation. So, what they’re really saying is the less than potential crop yields are the fault of farmers not taking advantage of Global Warming as much as they could.

    • That is exactly the way I see it. The warmer world enriched by CO2 fertilization and with improved water use efficiency as a result, has the potential to increase yields even more than it has already. It will take some alteration of practices to take full benefit of the improved conditions. But beware of taking too much government advice on farming practices. Stalin showed us how that works out.

    • EXCEPT it isn’t warmer.
      The key here is most important: yields are going up due to more CO2 which is plant food. My own plants on my farm have been growing great thanks to this. The growing season is shorter, not longer, and cooler, not warmer so this growth is mainly due to eating all that available CO2.
      As things cool down even more…it is FROZEN outside today with deer foraging the dry grasses!….Glass Lake is frozen from shore to shore and April is tomorrow? I talked to a 92 year old farmer and she said she has never seen the lake frozen this late, shore to shore.
      Anyways, it is definitely a later and later spring and we are very fortunate to have more CO2 to make up for the cooling going on.

      • humorme: yes, thank you, bravo for your comment, but probably too much common sense for Madisonophiles.

  6. Something to consider: Soybeans and Corn are usually grown together in the US, in a crop-rotation system where fields alternate between one and the other. Corn yields are highly temperature-dependent, to the extent that farmers refer to “Growing Degree-Days”. If this UW-Madison press release is to be believed, the inverse relationship exists for Soybean yields.
    So there we have it: if the weather is good for Corn, it’s bad for Soy. If it’s good for Soy, it’s bad for Corn.
    All of which begs the question: what is the “correct” temperature?

    • In my sixty years of working life I don’t know how many times I’ve heard it said to young employees fresh from training school “forget what they taught you in school, this is the real world” which leads to another oft heard expression, “Those that can, do, those that can’t teach.”

    • “If this UW-Madison press release is to be believed, the inverse relationship exists for Soybean yields.”
      No, like every other crop soybean has an optimum climate. Warmer or colder will cause less yield. So if it gets warmer yield will increase in the north and decrease in the south and vice versa if it gets colder. Known since time immemorial by everybody except “climate scientists”.

      • I am a retired farmer.
        I bet my last lamb, that the ‘climate scientists’ (sic) didn’t talk to a single farmer.

        • And I am a retired poet type
          Who’d bet my last iamb that you are right
          They’ll say “It’s Climate Change” with lots of hype
          They don’t need evidence as much as fright
          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      • I’m not a farmer but I would imagine as more acreage is brought into farm production the new acreage is probably more marginal and yields would be lower overall.

  7. Thus CONFIRMING that increasing temperatures simply SHIFT the growing range slightly and do no significant long term damage.
    Even IF we take this study at face value – the only thing necessary to mitigate climate change effects is to plant more soybeans in northern areas and less in central states.

  8. The article makes clear that, while soybeans did well in Wisconsin, it was at the expense of states where soybean yields fell in other states:

    In Wisconsin and most other northern states, including South Dakota and Minnesota, the changes in climate factors actually led to higher soybean yields. Wisconsin, for instance, saw an increase of 17.5 kilograms per hectare per year over the 20 years studied. However, most soybean-growing states farther south, including Ohio, Arkansas and Kentucky, experienced decreases in yields.

    All right. Ohio was evidently the worst, as they listed it first and the list is not alphabetical. So what does Ohio have to say to explain its terrible soybean yields?

    Ohio produced 245 million bushels of soybeans in 2014 and yielded 52.5 bushels per acre, both records. Ohio farmers also planted the most acres of soybeans ever: 4.85 million.

    From this article.
    Man, that IS terrible. How are we going to survive with yields like that? Or, more precisely, how is the climatastrophe narrative going to survive with yields like that?
    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

    • I live in Ohio and can tell you we haven’t had any “climate change” weather events. We are, in my opinion, the same or similar weather patterns that we had back in the 50’s and 60’s.

    • Here in Indiana we had a late spring last year, not an early one like this article assumes and like the Government was preaching before hand. Any farmer around here can tell you the Government is far to crazy over this Global Warming/Climate Change nonsense to give useful advise right now. Luckily most around here quite listening to their pronouncements a long time ago.

      • It is worse: I used to use NOAA’s long range climate predictions to decide what to do, while waiting out the winter, and it was pretty good way way back in the 1980’s. Since 1998, it stinks. It has been 100% wrong every year since!
        EVERY YEAR! It is a joke. Example: I live in the Northeast. Every year like clockwork, they predict a warmer than usual winter and an early spring and a late frost. They did this for last year and this year. Meanwhile, I was running around both years warning my neighbor farmers to spend more time putting up firewood because they would need and extra two or three cords.
        I can ‘read the weather’ pretty good….via sun spot activity and wind patterns. We are still in a ‘polar vortex’ wind pattern that has been nearly continuous since the end of January.

    • For those metrically challenged that is about 12 lbs/ acre? Really 12 lbs/ acre? Sounds like “dust in the wind” to me, I know there are millions of acres and it all adds up but this sounds a little alarmist to me.

      • A bushel of soybeans is around 60 pounds. So 52.5 bushels per acre converts to about 3150 lbs/acre, don’t know how you got to 12 lbs/acre.

      • ddpalmer
        Difference claimed was 17.5 kilograms per hectare per year
        1 Hectare = 2.47105381 Acres
        1 kilogram = 2.20462262 pound
        bushel of soybeans is around 60 pounds
        So roughly 1/4 of a bushel per year per acre change is claimed

  9. We’re all assuming, we’re trusting, presuming
    That these folks are speaking the facts
    When they talk of bad news in such grim gloomy hues
    The results of the climate attacks
    Oh, the poor southern states (this nonsense relates)
    Do so poorly because of the climate!
    But the data on yields in south soybean fields
    Shows the lie (above; I didn’t rhyme it)
    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  10. “Conley says that the next step is to help growers minimize this loss by starting or expanding practices such as earlier planting, no-till practices and growing later maturing soybeans.”
    Ah yes we all recall how well centralized planning of agriculture worked for the old USSR where the 3% of land farmed as private plots produced 25% of the nations output.

    • I had a neighbour was from generations of farmers and seemed to have the knack of knowing the day to call in the combine thingy to get the crop in.

      • there really is not enough understanding about sympathetic relationship and sensing between human and plant. Where would I apply for funding for research into something like that ?

    • Zemlik, buddy, the bean plants have died a natural death before we harvest them. the way we know they are ready is that they are dry enough and we can still get them before they fall to the ground.

  11. Why Are Physicists Drawn to Economics?
    https://orderstatistic.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/why-are-physicists-drawn
    Even before the financial crisis, there has always been a surprising number of ex-physicists who find their way to graduate study in economics. It could be that many of these math-physics people have simply concluded that they no longer like physics and are interested in economics instead. (Moreover, the job market for economics Ph.D’s is much better than the job market for physics Ph.D’s.) I suspect however that some of them are here because they have some incorrect perceptions about the field. A student with a mathematical-physics background could easily convince himself that he has superior mathematics abilities than typical economists and superior statistical and computational skills than most economists.[1] He might go on to conclude that, as a consequence of his superior mathematical and computational abilities, he should be able to enter economics and start contributing quickly and easily. He might also anticipate that he could easily adapt established models or techniques in physics to study economic phenomena and impress the profession.
    If you are one of these people, let me try to disabuse you of these notions. Your mathematical abilities are actually not that much better than most economists (if they are better at all). You will have to spend a lot of time acclimating to the subject and the path to actually making contributions will be long and difficult. In all likelihood, there are very few (perhaps zero) off-the-shelf models or techniques in physics (or engineering, or chemistry, …) that will produce meaningful economic results.

    • To be fully honest, there are zero off-the-shelf models or techniques in economics that will produce meaningful economic results. Great moments in economics- the prediction of the Great Depression, the prediction of the Savings and Loans Crisis, the prediction of the 2008 Financial Crisis, etc. etc. (just to be clear as far as I know the economics community has never predicted a single major economic perturbation with anything remotely approaching a common voice). And the great economic solution to all of those unforeseen little anomalies was, let me see, social upheaval and war???? Steve McIntyre is a brilliant person who happens to be an economist and no doubt there are other brilliant economists but generally economics is an occupation in search of a reason for its existence.

      • Steve McIntyre is a statistician, not an economist. His specialty is mining, a field where sophisticated statistics is of critical importance. Check the derivation of the term “kriging”.

  12. Anthony,

    Color me unimpressed with this press release, which boils down to nothing more than a statement of “we could have had a better year if the weather was better”.

    That’s because you stopped reading here:
    These divergent responses have to do with historical norms. In colder northern states, soybeans seem to be enjoying the new warmer weather, while in states farther south – where conditions had previously been fairly ideal – the additional heat is causing stress.
    And didn’t continue on to:
    Conley says that the next step is to help growers minimize this loss by starting or expanding practices such as earlier planting, no-till practices and growing later maturing soybeans. Researchers can help by producing region-specific suggestions that account for weather patterns at different times of the growing season.
    So it’s adaptable. And then the conclusion:
    Only then, says Conley, can the full potential of soybean yields be realized.
    The implication being that the slope of this trend …
    https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/soybean-annual-balance-sheet_12741_image001.gif
    … might have been higher if the weather had not changed. So the argument is, if weather does not return to what it was, the only option to realize the “full” potential of soybean yield is to modify the genetics of the crop to better fit local conditions and update growing practices.
    Try not rolling your eyes so much. It may improve your reading comprehension.

    • I noticed that there was no solution addressing climate change when it came to realizing the “full” potential of soybean yield.
      The implication of the slope of that trend is along the lines of, “Well sure, the Dow is above 12,000, but if it weren’t for those pesky Republicans in Congress, it would be 18,000!”
      The slant of the press release is obvious from the start, wherein alleged reduced profits are considered “losses.”

      • Michael Jankowski,

        I noticed that there was no solution addressing climate change when it came to realizing the “full” potential of soybean yield.

        I was a bit annoyed that “full” wasn’t clearly defined. The calculus for that is somewhere in this neighborhood:
        Averaging the data across the United States, researchers found that soybean yields fell by around 2.4 percent for every one-degree rise in temperature. In Wisconsin and most other northern states, including South Dakota and Minnesota, the changes in climate factors actually led to higher soybean yields. Wisconsin, for instance, saw an increase of 17.5 kilograms per hectare per year over the 20 years studied. However, most soybean-growing states farther south, including Ohio, Arkansas and Kentucky, experienced decreases in yields.
        I did think it was notable that no explicit argument was made for climate stabilization. And even more notable that the explicit message was NOT, “ZOMG, we’re all going to DIIIIEEEEE!!!!”

        The implication of the slope of that trend is along the lines of, “Well sure, the Dow is above 12,000, but if it weren’t for those pesky Republicans in Congress, it would be 18,000!”

        That’s certainly something a Keynsian Democrat would argue, but I don’t that kind of message in this press release. It notes that the weather is different, and claims evidence showing soybean yields being less than optimal on the basis of those changes. Then makes the implicit assumption that the weather won’t go back to where it was any time soon, and proposes some options for optimizing crop yields in the face of that assumed reality.
        Why you or Anthony should wish to make a political statement out of that is something I pretend to misunderstand, with the important caveat that it’s entirely likely I don’t actually understand either.

        The slant of the press release is obvious from the start, wherein alleged reduced profits are considered “losses.”

        lol. Well, now you know how I feel when I read things like, “CO2 is plant food”.
        Anyway. Speaking of “alleged”, the interesting thing to me here is that this statement …
        Because the states with the biggest yield losses are also the nation’s biggest soybean producers, the national impact comes out to a 30 percent yield loss overall.
        … doesn’t jibe with the USDA plot Anthony lifted from KSU. All my standard questions apply, starting with why the USDA plot should be taken as a priori correct. Followed by whether we’re really comparing apples to apples here.
        The first question is a bias question. The second one is a “some research may be required” question, which I find generally works best if I can jam the bias lever into neutral as much as possible and hold it there as well as I can. That is, if I really want to know something rather than just scrape around for things to bolster my partisan talking points.

      • All my standard questions apply, starting with why the USDA plot should be taken as a priori correct.

        Just a hunch, but maybe because it shows actual data versus a proclaimed sensitivity?
        The entire paper sounds like a counterfactual based on a sensitivity that they derived. And given that their sensitivity is 2.4%/deg in temperature rise, am I to conclude that Ohio has seen a 12deg rise in the last twenty years, or is that a magically compounding 2.4%?
        Please.

      • Interesting tidbits you find on Google without too much effort:

        Mississippi average soybean yields during the 1980’s were 21 bushels per acre. During the 1990’s, state average yields increased to 26 bushels per acre. Since 2000, average soybean yields in Mississippi have increased to 36 bushels per acre. The state average yield for soybean in 2011 was 41 bushels per acre which was a record high for the state.

        I’m going out on a limb here, but I think Mississippi just might be a little hotter than Ohio, Arkansas and Kentucky.
        And this claim is laughable:

        Because the states with the biggest yield losses are also the nation’s biggest soybean producers, the national impact comes out to a 30 percent yield loss overall.

        http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$Department/deptdocs.nsf/all/sis5219/$FILE/us_soybean_prod_map.pdf
        Looking at a map of soybean production we see that KY has a trivial amount of production and AR production is no higher than KS. The big producers are Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, and Nebraska. Ohio is 6th. So much for “nation’s biggest soybean producers.”
        And finally we have this: http://www.dtnprogressivefarmer.com/dtnag/common/link.do;jsessionid=E71B07ADD5D919A8E5F6B21335D340C3.agfreejvm2?symbolicName=/ag/blogs/template1&blogHandle=agfundamental&blogEntryId=8a82c0bc464a51380149c3a947a020b3

        With the growing season superb for the most part, all 18 top states had 2014 yields above their respective 10 year averages with the southern states such as TN and NC in addition to LA doing quite well while yields in the more northern states like IA, MN, and WI were close to their ten year averages.

        Oh yes, let’s definitely question the USDA graph and not the premise of the paper.

      • Tsk Tsk,

        Just a hunch, but maybe because it shows actual data versus a proclaimed sensitivity?

        Here’s the DJIA:
        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/Dow_Jones_Industrial_Average.png
        That’s actual data showing what the Dow DID. Save for facile explanations like, “well, it looks like industry has been growing” it does not explain WHY. It doesn’t really even provide a reliable measure of how well industry has been growing because:
        1) It’s an index of selected companies used as a proxy measure of overall economic growth and
        2) The price of the DOW is largely based on market-player perception of future economic prospects based on analysis and stories about present and recent historical overall performance.

        The entire paper sounds like a counterfactual based on a sensitivity that they derived.

        Obviously they’ve made inferences from some set of observations … that’s what scientists are SUPPOSED to do. They may very well have cherry-picked and then made a false general conclusion from inappropriately specific cases. I have not read the paper, only the press release. Since I lack information, it would be hasty for me to conclude that they are wrong and the USDA plot is correct. And it’s entirely possible that the USDA plot is “completely” wrong, though I don’t consider that likely. It is “wrong” in the sense that bean-counters miss a few million here and there when the count they’re estimating runs to the zillions, but that digression stretches the point.
        Which point is: I withhold judgement on these sort of things until I have looked up answers to as many questions as I can ask. Right now, I’ve got far more open questions than answers.

        And given that their sensitivity is 2.4%/deg in temperature rise, am I to conclude that Ohio has seen a 12deg rise in the last twenty years, or is that a magically compounding 2.4%?

        No, that would be silly since it rests on the wildly implausible notion that temperature is the only factor affecting soybean yields.

      • Brandon Gates (March 30, 2015 at 3:32 pm) quotes “most soybean-growing states farther south, including Ohio, Arkansas and Kentucky, experienced decreases in yields” and “the national impact comes out to a 30 percent yield loss overall “.
        Keith DeHavelle (March 30, 2015 at 2:13 pm) quotes “Ohio produced 245 million bushels of soybeans in 2014 and yielded 52.5 bushels per acre, both records. Ohio farmers also planted the most acres of soybeans ever: 4.85 million.“.
        Keith provided this link … http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2015/01/15/corn-soybean-output-2014 … which also said “Nationally, farmers harvested a record 14.2 billion bushels of corn, 3 percent more than the 2013 crop, which set the previous record. The average bushel-per-acre yield was 171, significantly better than the 158 bushels per acre in 2013 […] Bumper crops aren’t always a good thing, however. The abundance of corn and soybeans torpedoed prices. “. But it did quote one farmer, Gary Skinner, saying his “soybeans were held back by a wet, cold spring that delayed planting“. The implication is very clear – his lower yields were not caused by warmer weather.
        Brandon, maybe you would like to check the Ohio and national stats, but methinks the pieces that you quoted are, to put it very politely, nonsense.

      • That’s actual data showing what the Dow DID. Save for facile explanations like, “well, it looks like industry has been growing” it does not explain WHY. It doesn’t really even provide a reliable measure of how well industry has been growing because:

        You’re kidding, right. That is supposed to be an argument? You are questioning the validity of the USDA plot based on, um, your feelings? You do understand what a counterfactual is, don’t you? You offer absolutely zero evidence contrary to the data provided but are definitely skeptical in spite of other sources offered to corroborate. You do some furiously spinning about counting errors by the USDA and somehow gloss over analysis errors from the paper’s authors or their sources. And we’re supposed to accept this as something other than sophistry? Yeah, no.

        Obviously they’ve made inferences from some set of observations … that’s what scientists are SUPPOSED to do.

        No, scientists are supposed to offer testable hypothesis based on their observations and inferences. They made a definitive statement that yields are down relative to where they would be. Not “may be down.” Not “our model suggests.” No, instead they say,

        “We are still making yield gains because of breeding and other strategies, but those numbers aren’t as big as they could be,”

        (emphasis mine)
        That’s awfully certain for a group that can’t even get their facts straight on where soybean production is located as I pointed out in the links I attached and you clearly failed to read.
        Try again.

      • Tsk Tsk,

        You are questioning the validity of the USDA plot based on, um, your feelings?

        No. I suggest you read it again, with the blinders off this time.

        You do understand what a counterfactual is, don’t you?

        Yes. Wikipedia gives this example: If Oswald did not shoot Kennedy, then someone else did.

        You offer absolutely zero evidence contrary to the data provided but are definitely skeptical in spite of other sources offered to corroborate.

        My claim is that Anthony’s statement, Color me unimpressed with this press release, which boils down to nothing more than a statement of “we could have had a better year if the weather was better”. is a misrepresentation. All the data I need to substantiate that argument is right here on this very webpage.

        You do some furiously spinning about counting errors by the USDA and somehow gloss over analysis errors from the paper’s authors or their sources. And we’re supposed to accept this as something other than sophistry?

        You can do whatever in blue blazes you want to. I’m suggesting that if you truly want to understand whether the results of this study are valid or not, you need to read the actual paper. [1] I explicitly told you in a prior post that I’m withholding judgement about that myself until I’ve had a chance to do more research.

        No, scientists are supposed to offer testable hypothesis based on their observations and inferences. They made a definitive statement that yields are down relative to where they would be. Not “may be down.” Not “our model suggests.” No, instead they say,
        “We are still making yield gains because of breeding and other strategies, but those numbers aren’t as big as they could be,”

        Ok. My reckoning is that these authors have offered a testable hypothesis. You don’t like how he stated his conclusion … I’m saying “so what”. Too many qualifiers, and someone else will come along and say he was weasel-wording. That kind of useless semantic bullcrap gets old real quick.

        That’s awfully certain for a group that can’t even get their facts straight on where soybean production is located as I pointed out in the links I attached and you clearly failed to read.

        No, I read them. But until I read the paper itself I’m reserving judgement as to whether they’ve gotten their facts straight. You’ve already decided the paper is wrong, which is fine with me. But odd. I do unapolgetically want the paper to be correct because the authors are saying that it might be possible to improve soybean yields even though the weather has changed. Sounds like good news for once.
        ——————
        [1] Which, for the record, is here: http://www.nature.com/articles/nplants201426?WT.mc_id=SFB_NPLANTS-201502_JAPAN
        I’m not sure it’s worth five bucks to rent the article and I cannot find a pre-press version, so for now here’s the abstract:
        The United States is one of the largest soybean exporters in the world. Production is concentrated in the upper Midwest1. Much of this region is not irrigated, rendering soybean production systems in the area highly sensitive to in-season variations in weather. Although the influence of in-season weather trends on the yields of crops such as soybean, wheat and maize has been explored in several countries2,​3,​4,​5,​6, the potentially confounding influence of genetic improvements on yields has been overlooked. Here we assess the effect of in-season weather trends on soybean yields in the United States between 1994 and 2013, using field trial data, meteorological data and information on crop management practices, including the adoption of new cultivars. We show that in-season temperature trends had a greater impact on soybean yields than in-season precipitation trends over the measurement period. Averaging across the United States, we show that soybean yields fell by around 2.4% for every 1 °C rise in growing season temperature. However, the response varied significantly among individual states, ranging from −22% to +9%, and also with the month of the year in which the warming occurred. We estimate that year-to-year changes in precipitation and temperature combined suppressed the US average yield gain by around 30% over the measurement period, leading to a loss of US$11 billion. Our data highlight the importance of developing location-specific adaptation strategies for climate change based on early-, mid- and late-growing season climate trends.

      • Mike Jonas,

        Brandon, maybe you would like to check the Ohio and national stats, but methinks the pieces that you quoted are, to put it very politely, nonsense

        The national stats from the USDA plot in the head post are already in evidence, and I don’t have any but purely formal reasons to doubt them. My objection here is that Anthony, as usual, has done a schlock job at researching the stuff he comments on in his press release hack jobs. Anecdotes about bumper crops in select locations isn’t going to falsify the paper, and again, I am asking why anyone should want to do that when the overall message of the press release is that there looks to be a plausible way to adapt soybeans to changing temperatures.
        I do get it that the title of the press release is off-putting to some: “Climate change costing soybean farmers”
        I myself would rather academic PR departments would lay off that kind of negative verbiage. So, in fairness, their spin falsely represents Conley’s conclusions as well. None of our talk about “tone” of the message establishes the veracity (or not) of the findings themselves. That’s my main argument: drop the partisan sniping and read the effing paper. Recognize that a guy who specializes in soybean and corn agriculture just might know something more about it than you do, and that he’s trying to help in the way that he’s best trained to do so.
        For. Crying. Out. Loud. Is what I ask here such a terribly difficult concept to grasp?

      • Brandon Gates (March 30, 2015 at 7:34 pm) : You do not address the points I made, and then say “For. Crying. Out. Loud. Is what I ask here such a terribly difficult concept to grasp?“.
        OK, let’s do this one step at a time:
        You quoted the paper being discussed, where it said “most soybean-growing states farther south, including Ohio, Arkansas and Kentucky, experienced decreases in yields “.
        I cited that quote, and pointed out that a report on actual soybean production said “Ohio produced 245 million bushels of soybeans in 2014 and yielded 52.5 bushels per acre, both records.“.
        Now, if you look and think carefully, you may notice a small discrepancy : the paper said that there was a decrease in yields in Ohio but the data showed an increase.
        You also quoted the paper saying “the national impact comes out to a 30 percent yield loss overall“. The actual data showed record high production and yield nationally.
        Now to my simple mind, the data would be pretty reliable, and certainly unlikely to be out by as much as it would have to be for the paper to be correct. Was there any supporting evidence either way? Yes, there was. The price dropped sharply. That reinforces the concept that production was up.
        Now to be totally fair to the paper, although it said that yields were down, there was enough wiggle room for it to be argued that it didn’t mean what it said. What it really meant to say was that those super record high production and yield figures would have been immensely higher if the weather had been cooler.
        Was there any evidence to test this? Yes there was. The farmer who had the cooler spring also had a lower yield. So, to put it very simply, the paper was BS.
        Is that such a terribly difficult concept to grasp?

      • Mike I think you got it. Deductive logic trumps pseudo intellectual public trough consumption.
        BTW, additional CO2 increase also helps plants survive cold better. “increases in atmospheric air temperatures and concentrations of CO2 may allow seedlings to have a greater likelihood of surviving lower temperature and thereby establishing at higher elevations and latitudes in the future.”
        CO2 greatly expand the T range of crops for both T increases, and decreases. A 300 PPM increase of CO2 induces a 41% increase in soy. (mean result of 190 plus studies, both field and lab results.) FORTY ONE PERCENT !!
        CO2 reduces the need for water in crops, more then compensating for any minor heat increase. This study, Burkart, S., Manderscheid, R., Wittich, K.-P., Lopmeier, F.J. and Weigel, H.-J. demonstrates that in field crops given 550 PPM CO2, the cumulative increase of soil moisture due to CO2 enrichment found in their study suggests that in a future atmosphere, “CO2-related water savings would improve crop water status and reduce the need for irrigation in Central Europe,”
        To even suggest that a very minor increase in day time high T could begin to effectively offset the benefits of increased CO2 is ludicrous. The affect of T in controlled studies is well known. These “scientists” could have researched the studies of controlled experiments showing that minor T changes are more then offset by the growth improvements and water efficiencies found in hundreds of studies.
        Instead they read some results from some “adjusted” past T readings, and undoubtedly failed to isolate other reasonable explanations for disparate growth results (such as the timing of to much water and cold as mentioned, and or the increase in less efficient land to Soy due to the price increase in soy, or any dozens of other possible reasons, and in the face of record crop yields, they claim a CO2 induced loss. These studies time and again ignore the vast literature that exists.
        I notice BG ignores some of the excellent points made by other posters, admits he has no idea if the study is good or not, and assumes others are as ignorant as he is, to the point that he does not even acknowledge valid and simple deductive logic. Anthony’s post is just fine.

      • Mike Jonas,

        You also quoted the paper saying “the national impact comes out to a 30 percent yield loss overall“. The actual data showed record high production and yield nationally.

        Mmmmhmmm, “yield” and “yield loss” are two different terms. The abstract has some further hints:
        Averaging across the United States, we show that soybean yields fell by around 2.4% for every 1 °C rise in growing season temperature. However, the response varied significantly among individual states, ranging from −22% to +9%, and also with the month of the year in which the warming occurred. We estimate that year-to-year changes in precipitation and temperature combined suppressed the US average yield gain by around 30% over the measurement period, leading to a loss of US$11 billion.
        See that: … suppressed the US average yield gain by around 30% …
        And this: … leading to a loss of US$11 billion.
        Now, I don’t know about you, but read things like that last bit all the time when events cause shutdowns. Power goes out for days at a time in a large city, it leads to lost productivity, hence lost revenue while captial costs and fixed expenses remain constant, leading ultimately to net income loss at the end of the fiscal period in question. That part of this is pretty straightforward every day economics. The concept of yield loss in agriculture has been around for a long time, as are attempts to estimate it. Here’s a paper from 1917 about yield losses due to weeds:
        http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/IND43843083/PDF

        The farmer who had the cooler spring also had a lower yield. So, to put it very simply, the paper was BS.

        I don’t know what to tell you other than it’s obvious to me you really want this paper to be BS. That, and to re-read the press release, read the abstract of the paper, and note all the places those two things talk about simple correlations against the temperature record information-free unless confounding factors are controlled for in the analysis. Other than that, I’ve got nuthin’, because soybean farming is about as far removed from my personal expertise as it gets.
        I’d like the paper to be correct because I think it’s good news if so. I won’t go to the mattresses for it here because I simply don’t know enough about it, and it’s not central to my original point: Anthony misrepresented what the press release actually says, and now on further reivew, what the abstract of the paper actually says. I’ve got a problem with that. I’m not at all surprised his gaggle of apologists have got a problem with me saying it, and would rather throw literacy skills further under the bus trying to “prove” that the paper is indeed bogus. I’d be more amused by how silly all this is if it weren’t so depressingly and infuriatingly dishonest.

      • The press release quotes, “However, most soybean-growing states farther south, including Ohio, Arkansas and Kentucky, experienced decreases in yields.’
        The implication is that these further south states had more warm weather due to Brandon Gates SUV.
        Another CAGW fail…
        https://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/screenhunter_2810-sep-14-22-48.gif
        All Ohio USHCN Stations Set Their All-Time Record Maximum Temperature Prior To 1954
        https://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/screenhunter_1654-jan-13-07-22.gif
        97% Of All Ohio 100 Degree Readings Occurred With CO2 Below 350 PPM
        https://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/screenhunter_475-aug-28-03-54.jpg
        By adjusting down the past, and raising the present Ohio T, they added 1.84 degrees of warming to the 2014 record comparing 1934 to 1914.
        https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/image8.png
        BG was driving his SUV in Arkansas as well; in the 1930s. In 2014 Arkansas was Having Their Coolest Summer On Record”,
        https://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/screenhunter_2018-aug-17-07-31.gif
        Brandon drives his SUV to Kentucky.
        “According to USHCN daily thermometer data, Kentucky used to be much hotter. The five hottest summers all occurred before 1960…
        1936 79.9876
        1952 78.444
        1934 78.3737
        1901 78.168
        1894 78.0981
        The vast majority of all-time record maximums were set or tied prior to 1960. (Remember, record maximums are not affected by TOBS adjustments.)
        https://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/screenhunter_121-jul-24-19-19.jpg
        Brandon decides that the papers press release “In colder northern states, soybeans seem to be enjoying the new warmer weather, while in states farther south – where conditions had previously been fairly idea”
        is complete malarkey, and Anthony was correct all along. He then offers an apology to Anthony.
        l

      • B.Gates, failing to give that apology has the bad karma to buy a stock that increases in value from 100 to 120 dollars.
        Brandon decides to cash in and is told “Sorry but you owe us 10 dollars. Seeing the all to familiar puzzled expression on Mr. Gates face, his broker exclaims, if things had gone perfect your stock would have risen to $150. Therefore it had an approximate 30 percent reduction, and so you owe us. Brandon understands this perfectly, pays his money and leaves.

      • No need, learned it in 1st year biology from a botanist. He also taught us several other important factors which affect plant growth, among which were moisture availability and temperature. All sorts of little things on how plant species evolve to the climactic factors specific to their geography. How they compete for resources with other flora and fauna as well. Or … marvellously … cooperate with other species in symbiotic relationships thereby enhancing their mutual survival and reproductive fitness. All sorts of lessons about how these things exist in a rough equilibrium with each other, and how rapid changes to local environment can disrupt that, leading to stress on populations, even — dare I be “alarmist” — extinction.
        The good news is that our species has learned over time how to direct the evolution of plant species to fit our needs by selective breeding, hybridization, and now even direct genetic manipulation. We’ve vastly improved cultivation techniques and harvesting efficiency. Overall, I have some measure of confidence that we will find a way to produce food in pretty much whatever weather comes our way. This paper is one concrete example confirming my positive hope.
        I would have expected the WUWT response to this press release to be: See! We’ll adapt! Especially David A, who is fond of pointing to the NIPCC report and its rather impressive collection of other studies which argue that global warming should not be taken as an a priori threat to agriculture.
        But no. The press release headline reads: Climate change costing soybean farmers
        Those are fighting words. So, the reading and thinking stops, and the positive hopeful messages go missed. And somehow, I am even more “alarmist” for rubbing your noses in … GOOD NEWS.
        This would be baffling if I didn’t also recognize I’m rubbing your noses in your own fertilizer. I don’t doubt it stinks, I can smell it from here. Don’t blame me … you’re supposed to stand outside the hole once it’s been dug and THEN crap in it.

      • David A,
        Brandon decides that the papers press release “In colder northern states, soybeans seem to be enjoying the new warmer weather, while in states farther south – where conditions had previously been fairly idea”
        I appreciate that the data you present are topical to the discussion, however I note that they are quite anecdotal in nature. The paper in question uses new data expressly gathered for the study being undertaken, which means they had a hypothesis about in-season crop temperature sensitivity. It is entirely possible that they “cherry-picked” to “prove” to themselves that their hunch was correct, which is one reason I have adopted an agnostic position on their conclusions. I simply do not know enough about soybeans to evaluate the claims.
        My own amateur investigations into the matter have not been any more conclusive, so I’m not about to throw up plot after plot to counter your evidence and “prove” you wrong. It’s NOT my central point to defend the conclusions of the paper itself, but rather to point to how Anthony distorted the message of the press release and by proxy the study itself. I think that is dishonest, and I will not apologize for holding that opinion, nor expressing it.
        I certainly won’t apologize to you for twisting my argument into something it isn’t. I repeat, my argument is NOT about the veracity of the paper. My argument IS about how Anthony distorted the paper’s intent and conclusions. Whether or not the paper’s findings are correct or not has no bearing on Anthony having “missed” the point of the paper itself. Got it? Or do I need to find another Samuel L. photo to drive home the point?

      • lee,

        ‘It notes that the weather is different’.
        Not Climate? I’m amazed.

        Correct, weather. Crops don’t respond to the descriptive statistics of global or regional weather over some arbitrarily long baseline period, only to the local weather from the time they were planted to the time they were harvested. This study aims to find ways of improving crop yields in growing seasons when the weather enters regimes infrequently seen in the past because, and here is the implicit assumption, those warmer growing seasons have been more and more frequent and that trend IS expected to continue.
        This is an adaptation paper, not a mitigation paper. The PR department apparently didn’t get the memo, which I think is unfortunate, because it set an initial negative tone to what is ultimately a positive message.

    • Yup, eye roller, for what 20 year period hasn’t seen temperatures go up or down? When haven’t farmers been adapting crops to changing weather? There are so many variables that affect yields and this is a simplistic view meant to ride the AGW gravy train. It just doesn’t stop.

    • Brandon, it appeared Anthony got the gist. People are still blaming weather for changing, and the media in university systems is still churning out shallow reports that merely echo what they have heard about climate. It’s an eye-roller indeed when every bit of positive news gets rolled into grist for the climate catastrophe mill.
      Maybe you and author Conley, can find some redeeming negative news here; personally I see no point in attempting “stabilize” the weather and idealize the climate. If you need to do this, I wish you guys would do it on your own dime. Til then, that graph looks pretty good to me.
      Tom McClellan March 30, 2015 at 1:26 pm gives a pretty sound explanation of what is happening, if you care to read more.

      • Bill Parsons,

        It’s an eye-roller indeed when every bit of positive news gets rolled into grist for the climate catastrophe mill.

        I just did a word-search for the c-word. The only three hits were from your comment just above, and this twice-repeated headline from THIS website in the sidebar:
        Are we ready for the next volcanic catastrophe?
        It’s not in the press release. It’s not in the abstract of the paper which I’ve quoted in full elsewhere.

        Maybe you and author Conley, can find some redeeming negative news here; personally I see no point in attempting “stabilize” the weather and idealize the climate.

        I just did a word-search for the s-word. The only hit was in your comment I just quoted. It’s not in the press release. It’s not in the abstract of the paper which I’ve quoted in full elsewhere.

        If you need to do this, I wish you guys would do it on your own dime.

        Fine:
        Conley says that the next step is to help growers minimize this loss by starting or expanding practices such as earlier planting, no-till practices and growing later maturing soybeans. Researchers can help by producing region-specific suggestions that account for weather patterns at different times of the growing season.
        If “we” improve soybean crop yields on “our” own dime whatever the weather, “we” get to reap the benefits and “you guys” can eat cake. Deal?
        What else don’t you want to use, and therefore not pay taxes on? This paradigm could resolve a LOT of issues by not having to kowtow to a bunch of petulantly childish malcontents while the rational and optimistic adults get back to the business of spending public funds to improve the lives of everyone who understands how a neighbourly and cooperative society is supposed to work.

      • Brandon Gates

        “c-word”

        Congratulations Brandon, that “clever” appellation to Bill Parsons, probably represents a new low for WUWT.
        Your bullying, though thinly veiled, was brazen and reckless in my opinion.
        Personally, I find this an incredibly tasteless challenge to collective intelligence of WUWT readers.
        For anybody not as well read as Brandon, please look up the connotative usage:
        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=C-Word
        cheers,
        Scott

      • Scott Wilmot Bennett,
        Suck it up, Scott. Brandon is a serious and mature commentator, with mature sensibilities. Do not impute to him motives which he does not explicitly endorse. The “C-word”, whose fearsome syllables, Brandon now eschews, stands for “climate catastrophist”, which is what he is. And if we deniers will just get off his back, he can get on with the serious, (and did I say “mature”?) business of questioning, countering and belittling just about every moderate and reasonable article posted at WUWT, including this one.

      • All:
        Not finding “catastrophe” or “stabilize” in either the press release or abstract, your collective options were:
        1) Cop to it
        2) Continue to make things up
        Predictably, you chose the reality-impaired option (2). As usual. I will say this much for you guys, you’re reliable.

      • @Brandon Gates, March 31, 2015 at 1:31 am
        I resent being pigeonholed as a “petulantly childish malcontent”… I have other virtues as well! They do not prevent me from questioning screwball logic, or suspecting motive in research which largely supports a popular, and financially rewarding meme that has been shown to have multiple holes. Conley’s article postulates that increased heat across the U.S., is generally a bad thing that is reducing yields quantifiably. At the same time his “homepage” cites ten or more factors that can impact soybean production. Some of these are early frosts, and too much moisture, which can result in a type of brown rot that kills roots, nipping the seedling in the bud. Other sources online suggest that (local) hot years in certain states have yielded abundant soy crops. Wikipedia says about soy plants that

        Cultivation is successful in climates with hot summers, with optimum growing conditions in mean temperatures of 20 to 30 °C (68 to 86 °F); temperatures of below 20 °C and over 40 °C (68 °F, 104 °F) stunt growth significantly.

        Given that temps below 68 might be more likely in late spring than temps exceeding 104, I might prefer the dry and hot parts of the climate spectrum (assuming I could get them both), because I could mitigate the heat, and manage the moisture levels exactly with smart irrigation. Cold, moist conditions, on the other hand, might not actually be manageable.
        Was it you, below, who claims some rural ancestry? I had some too. One of those rustic aphorisms my grandparents might have laid on me was, “Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.” It is exactly this fallacy that Conley employs to claim yields at greater-than-existing rates. And his reasoning to get to those higher predicted rates doesn’t feel all that sound to this city dweller.

      • Bill Parsons,

        I resent being pigeonholed as a “petulantly childish malcontent”

        Good! I wouldn’t expect any self-respecting person to take my brand of invective lying down.

        … I have other virtues as well!

        I’m quite sure you do, but here’s the key: I don’t know you. All I have are your words to go by. Just like you, I can speculate about what I don’t see, and make that quite unpleasant for you if I wish.
        I’m pretty sure you really understand the benefits of paying taxes. But your argument about soybean research on “my” own dime arguably does not demonstrate understanding of that principle. It is a non-argument. I made fun of it. Don’t like it? Well …. either don’t make the argument, or be prepared to defend why it isn’t silly.
        Which you have not. You abandoned it. Why?

        They do not prevent me from questioning screwball logic, or suspecting motive in research which largely supports a popular, and financially rewarding meme that has been shown to have multiple holes.

        Declaring logic screwball requires following the logic to its conclusion.
        Suspecting motive gets you nowhere unless you can demonstrate its deleterious effects. That is an immense burden of proof. And, here’s my thing, everyone needs to eat. We all have that motive.
        Me questioning your logic or your reading skills is NOT me saying that you don’t have the “right” to do the same to me. Spare me the whining about persecution, thought suppression, and cracks about reading skills, and argue your point cogently. Express anger if you like — I do it, I’m fine with you doing it and wouldn’t expect otherwise — but back it up with a demonstration that you comprehend the actual arguments that I am making instead of putting words in my mouth:
        The “C-word”, whose fearsome syllables, Brandon now eschews, stands for “climate catastrophist”, which is what he is.
        Bullcrap. Lies, damn lies. I know you know how to read. It’s long past time you demonstrate the ability to do so and stop making things up about people you DO NOT KNOW and whose minds YOU CANNOT READ.
        Which is the charge I levied against Anthony in my first post on this thread: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/03/30/eyeroller-uw-madison-says-weather-er-climate-change-is-affecting-soybean-yields-amid-record-high-yields/#comment-1894199
        In your opinion, was my behaviour at that point beyond the pale of adversarial but generally respectful debate? Can you figure out at what point I started getting seriously pissed off, and why?

        Conley’s article postulates that increased heat across the U.S., is generally a bad thing that is reducing yields quantifiably. At the same time his “homepage” cites ten or more factors that can impact soybean production. Some of these are early frosts, and too much moisture, which can result in a type of brown rot that kills roots, nipping the seedling in the bud. Other sources online suggest that (local) hot years in certain states have yielded abundant soy crops. Wikipedia says about soy plants that

        How many times have I pointed out on this thread that this paper does not reduce the problem down to “only temperature affects crop yields”? Count them. I’ve lost track. Read the words I write, and argue the points that I make. I’m NOT debating the veracity of this study. I have NOT read it. I do NOT have sufficient knowledge of soybean farming to discuss it confidently. The veracity of the study is NOT central to my argument.
        Am I getting through to you yet? Or do I need to ramp up my mockery of illiteracy again?

      • Bill Parsons,

        Was it you, below, who claims some rural ancestry?

        Yes. A year of it on a small walnut ranch in Paso Robles, CA. One of the best years in my young life.

        I had some too. One of those rustic aphorisms my grandparents might have laid on me was, “Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.” It is exactly this fallacy that Conley employs to claim yields at greater-than-existing rates. And his reasoning to get to those higher predicted rates doesn’t feel all that sound to this city dweller.

        We kept chickens for a time too. Dad brought home some spare eggs from the lab. I’ve looked at a lot of chickens before they’ve hatched under a dissecting scope … fascinating. But I digress.
        This aborted hayseed city-dweller has stood outside the CBOT building in Chicago, IL. One thing they trade on their floor is crop commodity futures, including soybeans and soy products. Forward-looking yield estimates, and forensic yield loss estimates are part and parcel of that multi-billion dollar trading activity.
        “We” won’t really find out the veracity of this study until its proposed methods are put into action. This is how agricultural science has worked in this country since we began publicly funding it. We have one of the most productive agricultural economies, and are a net food exporter — including soybeans — on the planet for VERY good reasons. Wake up.

        • @Brandon Gates, who wrote:

          “We” won’t really find out the veracity of this study until its proposed methods are put into action.

          That would show utility, not veracity. The truth of the study can be examined now, by noting that its assertions about yields (in the abstract, at least) are false.
          It’s worth considering how many assumptions go into a model of soybean growth. There are dozens, and these are populated by gross simplifications and knowing oversimplifications. Even if you do not have access to this paper, look up the papers they reference: The details are voluminous, and the modeled results are not skillful at predictions. They useful only at the level of thought experiments.
          And grant funding, of course. That is my business; I write those grant requests.
          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      • Keith DeHavelle,

        That would show utility, not veracity.

        Well-taken, I agree with you.

        The truth of the study can be examined now, by noting that its assertions about yields (in the abstract, at least) are false.

        The graph shows yield per hectare. The abstract speaks of yield loss: We estimate that year-to-year changes in precipitation and temperature combined suppressed the US average yield gain by around 30% over the measurement period, leading to a loss of US$11 billion.

        It’s worth considering how many assumptions go into a model of soybean growth.

        Of course. This is academic.

        The details are voluminous, and the modeled results are not skillful at predictions.

        Skill scoring needs a reference model. So “not skillful” doesn’t tell me anything unless I know what the reference is. Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it not appropriate to be talking about forward-looking predictive models in a discussion about a study that does not propose a predictive model?

        And grant funding, of course. That is my business; I write those grant requests.

        For ag research or something else? If agriculture, then you really ought to know the difference between yield and yield loss/gain, thereby mooting half your argument here.

        • You assumed I was referring to the 30% business. I am not talking about the simple statement of prospective yield reduction, as misleading as that potentially is.
          I am noting, instead, that explicit references to losses in particular states are wrong. Perhaps they can justify this in some manner, using (for example) Olympic averages that can make an increase look like a decrease in some circumstances. But such would be very highly misleading for this study.
          My primary field is biomedical, and my interest in the climate topic dates back to the days of Global Cooling, but I get drawn into other grant areas by request as I have a certain degree of positive reputation.
          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      • Keith DeHavelle,

        You assumed I was referring to the 30% business.

        Yes, because that is the main source of contention on this thread.

        I am not talking about the simple statement of prospective yield reduction, as misleading as that potentially is.

        I appreciate the clarification. However, now you have set up an argument about potential to mislead. Ok. Yes. Scientists make mistakes. When those errors are not caught and we act on them, we have been misled. This is academic.

        I am noting, instead, that explicit references to losses in particular states are wrong. Perhaps they can justify this in some manner, using (for example) Olympic averages that can make an increase look like a decrease in some circumstances. But such would be very highly misleading for this study.

        You declare them wrong and attempt to support the assertion with a “perhaps” leading to “would be very highly misleading”. I’m sorry, but that’s not at all a conclusive argument, and it is wrong to present it as such.

        My primary field is biomedical, and my interest in the climate topic dates back to the days of Global Cooling, but I get drawn into other grant areas by request as I have a certain degree of positive reputation.

        So you have some general knowledge of this and a degree of professional competence. I’d be more inclined to put stock in your CV if you made better arguments.

    • Brandon, read the numbers. Check the trend. Learn about corn and beans.
      Because we do ethanol corn is KING. Beans are grown when corn planting is delayed by cold and/or wet fields even more than in the past. By assigning beans to now short season years even more than before the rise in bean yields is stupendous.
      Anhydrous ammonia has eliminated the need to rotate beans. Once the supply is assured and the equipment deployed anhydrous drives corn production way up cheaply. Beans substitute in late springs and on newly reclaimed land.
      Beans are susceptible to herbicide damage. Corn has been better bred and handles herbicide carry-over better. When beans are the emergency substitute yields are often reduced by such carry-over.
      The egg-heads from “The Athens of the Midwest” can drive South 70 miles and I will let them talk to Illinois farmers. We are the soybean folks. Wisconsin milks cows while we feed hogs because we got the prairie and they got the lakes and rocks. We had first choice. They are still nice folks and very few outside Madison and Milwaukee are so confused by facts. See Scott Walker.

      • John H. Harmon,

        Brandon, read the numbers. Check the trend. Learn about corn and beans.

        Those are things nobody needs to tell me to do, but as much as I do them because I like learning, there is always something I am missing.

        Because we do ethanol corn is KING.

        I would argue the reverse. Either way, I oppose corn-fed internal combustion engines: http://www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/AF/265.pdf
        If the energy balance is so close to call that it’s this controversial, my vote is to look for a different way. Switchgrass gets some good press, but my money is on blue-green algae as the most viable candidate for eventual replacement. Very eventual. I think the best near-term option for replacing gasoline and diesel is natural gas. First problem to tackle is the electrial grid, however. So: nukes, geothermal, solar pv, windmills in about that order of priority. Things being they way they are, the general reverse is what is happening.

        Beans are grown when corn planting is delayed by cold and/or wet fields even more than in the past. By assigning beans to now short season years even more than before the rise in bean yields is stupendous.

        That is a compelling argument, I’ll read up. Thank you.

        Anhydrous ammonia has eliminated the need to rotate beans.

        That argument would be better directed at Anthony and others who are boiling this subject down to the point that temperature is the only factor being considered.

        The egg-heads from “The Athens of the Midwest” can drive South 70 miles and I will let them talk to Illinois farmers. We are the soybean folks. Wisconsin milks cows while we feed hogs because we got the prairie and they got the lakes and rocks. We had first choice. They are still nice folks and very few outside Madison and Milwaukee are so confused by facts. See Scott Walker.

        I have family in Stoughton, but we grew up in Cincinnati. Dad started out an Iowa farmboy with a stint in Pennsylvania, ultimately finished up high school in Stockton. Mom was born and bred in Ohio to the president of a metal-casting concern, and both Mom and Dad are still in Cincy. They met in grad school at BYU in Provo.
        I’ve lived just about everywhere my immediate family has, plus a few additional places, except Wisconsin. But I do like it — Madison reminds me a bit of Berkeley, a place I’ve always called home even when I wasn’t living there. Anyway, the Stoughton branch don’t think much of Mr. Walker … I more or less take their word for it, though I’ve done some of my own reading. It would not be fair to blame my views on the town I live in … I’m anything BUT a stereotypical left-coast liberal. For one thing, anyone taking about “flyover states” in a manner that isn’t light jest is picking a big fight with me.
        I’m happy to talk politics with you, but I’m far more interested in what you’ve got to say about soybean farming. Regards.

      • Mike Jonas March 30, 2015 at 5:03 pm
        But it did quote one farmer, Gary Skinner, saying his “soybeans were held back by a wet, cold spring that delayed planting“. The implication is very clear – his lower yields were not caused by warmer weather.
        John H. Harmon March 30, 2015 at 3:55 pm
        Beans are grown when corn planting is delayed by cold and/or wet fields even more than in the past.

        YES! Thank you, This is what I’ve been trying to say. This paper makes the argument that Soybean yields would have been even better if not for Global Warming changing the weather and offers This as a solution.
        Conley says that the next step is to help growers minimize this loss by starting or expanding practices such as earlier planting, no-till practices and growing later maturing soybeans. Researchers can help by producing region-specific suggestions that account for weather patterns at different times of the growing season.
        Conley’s solutions assume that the problem was a early/warmer growing season, when the truth was the exact opposite. Any farmer that had followed their advise would have been ruined, and any farmer worth his land knows it.
        This is why Farmers here in Indiana just roll their eyes at this nonsense nowadays. These Government paid buffoons want to tell us that ‘Climate Change’ has changed the weather, and we need to follow their directions or we’re all doomed. But they CAN’T ACTUALLY PREDICT WHAT THE ‘NEW’ WEATHER WILL BE!

    • Brandon
      Yield per acre is up over 40 pecent since 73, but in your mind that means what?
      I just want brilliance from the all powerful reading comprehension machine.

      • Bob Boder,
        My paternal grandfather was a mechanical engineer specializing in harvesting machinery. He told me many stories.

      • Brandon G says, “That argument would be better directed at Anthony and others who are boiling this subject down to the point that temperature is the only factor being considered.”
        =========================
        Nope, wrong answer. It is the Authors of this study that insisted that CAGW, or a T increase in Southern States, was the simple answer.
        When a CO2 increase of 300 PPM induces a 41 percent increase in soy growth (mean result of over 190 studies) and dozens of factors can manifest minor changes in yield, then it is apparent that the study is meaningless to policy, and failed to consider the many factors that could make a minor difference in soy production.

      • David A,

        It is the Authors of this study that insisted that CAGW, or a T increase in Southern States, was the simple answer.

        Once again dear friends, into the breach. From the abstract of the paper itself:
        The United States is one of the largest soybean exporters in the world. Production is concentrated in the upper Midwest1. Much of this region is not irrigated, rendering soybean production systems in the area highly sensitive to in-season variations in weather. Although the influence of in-season weather trends on the yields of crops such as soybean, wheat and maize has been explored in several countries2,​3,​4,​5,​6, the potentially confounding influence of genetic improvements on yields has been overlooked. Here we assess the effect of in-season weather trends on soybean yields in the United States between 1994 and 2013, using field trial data, meteorological data and information on crop management practices, including the adoption of new cultivars. We show that in-season temperature trends had a greater impact on soybean yields than in-season precipitation trends over the measurement period.
        Do you know what “potentially confounding” means?
        Do you know what “greater impact … than” means?
        Do you see the words “CAGW is the ONLY reason” anywhere in the abstract or press release? If so, please explicitly quote the relevant text.
        Until then, for the love of all that is holy: “Do they speak English in what?”
        https://monkeyseesmonkeyclimbs.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/they-speak-english-in-what.png
        Unnnnnnbelievable. Well and truly.

        • David A is correct. The paper’s focus is to remove the effect of genetic modifications, leaving (as they suggest) temperature increases and precipitation changes as the variables to be modeled for their putative harmful impact upon yield.
          As an aside, a model of soybean yields would need to be tremendously complex, with net precipitation, soil moisture capacity, soil content (as percentages primarily of sand, silt and clay), weather effects that modelers shorthand into “degree growing days,” extremes of temperature and precipitation, humidity, wind, altitude, vapor pressure (affecting moisture transpiration through the leaves), insolation times, season lengths, cloud cover, and many other factors as well. All these have been looked at (generally with greatly simplifying assumptions) in other models, some of which they reference. I’ve not seen this particular paper, but it would be interesting to see how they proposed to untangle all of these effects leaving only Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.
          CAGW is, in terms of weather, characterized by its proponents as consisting of harmful temperature increases and precipitation changes. (Whether more or less precipitation, it seems always bad.) So, this paper focuses on the effect of CAGW on yields, as David A noted.
          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      • Sorry Mod, but I was actually responding with the word that he himself used – blowing his own trumpet, so to speak, hee hee. I think my comment ended up in the wrong place though, so it wasn’t so obvious.

    • Brandon Gates
      Your arrogance knows no bounds!

      So the argument is, if weather does not return to what it was, the only option to realize the “full” potential of soybean yield is to modify the genetics of the crop to better fit local conditions and update growing practices.
      Try not rolling your eyes so much. It may improve your reading comprehension.

      No, that is not the “argument made in the University press release or the abstract:

      But that growth could have been 30 percent higher if weather variations resulting from climate change had not occurred, according to a study by University of Wisconsin-Madison agronomists published last month in Nature Plants.
      And from the abstract:

      Our data highlight the importance of developing location-specific adaptation strategies for climate change based on early-, mid- and late-growing season climate trends.

      Stop rolling your own eyes and you might not come across as such a perverse windbag.
      http://www.nature.com/articles/nplants201426

      • The figures of the paper are hilarious. So they show this huge swath of states with reduced yields, and they show reduced yields in ND (hard to get much further north than that) and the largest gains of 22kg/ha/yr (larger than the WI 17.5 they cited in the press release) in arctic… Mississippi. Clearly, temperatures are playing a dominant role. *eye roll*

      • Scott Wilmot Bennett,

        Your arrogance knows no bounds!

        Well shucks, thanks. I don’t know about all that. For sure though I have a near endless supply of snark brought on by white-hot righteous fury: I do not like pervasive dishonesty and intentional stupidity. If you really want to try and rile me up, call me sanctimonious.

        Our data highlight the importance of developing location-specific adaptation strategies for climate change based on early-, mid- and late-growing season climate trends.

        Yes, and: Conley says that the next step is to help growers minimize this loss by starting or expanding practices such as earlier planting, no-till practices and growing later maturing soybeans. Researchers can help by producing region-specific suggestions that account for weather patterns at different times of the growing season. Only then, says Conley, can the full potential of soybean yields be realized.
        Now my statement again: So the argument is, if weather does not return to what it was, the only option to realize the “full” potential of soybean yield is to modify the genetics of the crop to better fit local conditions and update growing practices.
        On careful review I think you can ding me on the genetics, the PR doesn’t explicitly say that. Other than that I don’t see how my statement is materially different from what’s written in the release. I am admittedly downplaying the scary headline, Climate change costing soybean farmers because I don’t like appeals to fear, especially when they’re gratuitous. There’s a case to be made here that they overdid it. Does get one’s attention though, dunnit.

        Stop rolling your own eyes and you might not come across as such a perverse windbag.

        I call ’em as I see ’em. How that “comes across” to others is more up to them than me.

      • Your writing style is ‘getting real old real quick’!
        You are so enamoured of your own abilities to weasel-word that you fail to see the transparency of your frantic twisting. Your vain wriggling is apparent to anybody but yourself it seems.
        You remind me of one of the Emperor’s ministers in the cautionary tale The Emperor’s New Cloths. To paraphrase, ‘Only those fit for office and not “hopelessly stupid” could see AGW’.
        Only proles and plebs, seeing it for what it is, laugh at its naked stupidity.
        Don’t rush in at this one BG, there maybe a trap or two laid for a “quick fella” such as yourself.

      • Scott Wilmot Bennett,

        Your writing style is ‘getting real old real quick’!

        Don’t worry, I’ll likely switch it up at some point.

        You are so enamoured of your own abilities to weasel-word that you fail to see the transparency of your frantic twisting.

        Like I said, caveat too much and someone will come along and call it spin. There is no winning this game. If the words “climate change”, “global warming”, “model” or “Michael E. Mann” are anywhere on the printed page it goes straight into the round file and set on fire with alacrity. All the other ticky-tack hair-splitting after that is just gravy to smother any stray bits of sense which may have gotten past the censors.
        The sum total of your argument is that this paper must be bogus because you don’t like the wording of the press release. You sprinkle some ad hoc fairy dust on it in the form of anecdotal evidence dredged out of a search engine to “prove” your pathetic point, and then get even more pissed off when I double down on the mockery for your blatant nitwittery.
        Oh look, I just ran out of popcorn. Back in a sec ….

        Your vain wriggling is apparent to anybody but yourself it seems.

        “Seems” is a weasel-word.

        You remind me of one of the Emperor’s ministers in the cautionary tale The Emperor’s New Cloths. To paraphrase, ‘Only those fit for office and not “hopelessly stupid” could see AGW’.

        You worry too much what others think of you …

        Only proles and plebs, seeing it for what it is, laugh at its naked stupidity.

        … and grossly overestimate how much stock I put in what you think of me. I’ve had this conversation before … when was that … oh yes, kindergarten.

        Don’t rush in at this one BG, there maybe a trap or two laid for a “quick fella” such as yourself.

        Saw you comin’ before you even got here. It’s almost embarrassing how many times people with no substantive argument have whined at me for being an arsehole over the years when I was genuinely trying to be NICE. Eventually I figured I may as well own the label by acting on it. And here we are.
        So. Was that good for you too?

      • Brandon Gates

        “bla bla bla… “censors”

        Don’t put words into my mouth.
        Censorship and propaganda, that’d be your field of expertise.

        The sum total of your argument is that this paper must be bogus because you don’t like the wording of the press release. You sprinkle some ad hoc fairy dust on it in the form of anecdotal evidence dredged out of a search engine to “prove” your pathetic point, and then get even more pissed off when I double down on the mockery for your blatant nitwittery.

        I never argued for the papers merits. I pointed out your spin about weather v climate, remember! Your ability to weasel was the topic. Please try and keep up. And you quoted the abstract. It’s your abilities to comprehend it or your honest representation of them that is in doubt.

        “Seems” is a weasel-word.

        “Seems”, was giving your the benefit of the doubt that you might not be aware of your weaselling.

        You worry too much what others think of you …

        Make your own points, please don’t steal mine!

        … and grossly overestimate how much stock I put in what you think of me. I’ve had this conversation before … when was that … oh yes, kindergarten.

        You have no idea what was implied and so you blindly lash out. I would never laugh at you, you scare me too much.. Kindergarten memories and all that.

        Don’t rush in at this one BG, there maybe a trap or two laid for a “quick fella” such as yourself.
        Saw you comin’ before you even got here. It’s almost embarrassing how many times people with no substantive argument have whined at me for being an arsehole over the years when I was genuinely trying to be NICE. Eventually I figured I may as well own the label by acting on it. And here we are.

        “Quick fella” was a complement (If a little backhanded). But if you see “arsehole” in it, you might look to yourself for those feelings of persecution.

        So. Was that good for you too?

        No, I feel dirty somehow, you know, “battle ye not with monsters” and all that…

      • Scott W, you have called BG exactly right. He claims he likes to learn, admits he is ignorant concerning the study, then ignores many good comments demonstrating that the study is junk science. This mans comments for example.
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/03/30/eyeroller-uw-madison-says-weather-er-climate-change-is-affecting-soybean-yields-amid-record-high-yields/?replytocom=1894343#respond
        BG consider himself a gate keeper, and he lumps ALL WUWT posts into one basket. For instance your post simply critiqued BGs posting style as transparent and not serious. His response to you was full of straw-man such as , “The sum total of your argument is that this paper must be bogus because you don’t like the wording of the press release” when you only insulted his bombastic attempt to be the WUWT policeman.
        He then blames the responses his immature style invokes for his continuing sad and low level commentary.
        A shame that he uses his quick wit for such useless pursuits. If he was not such a faded jaded mandarin, his education could be used for some good, as it is true that many are over quick to assume all pro CAGW studies as pure junk, but the CAGW community well deserves such scorn, and some tar and feathers as well.

      • Scott Wilmot Bennett,

        “bla bla bla… “censors”

        The most accurate depiction of your reading skills I’ve seen yet.

        Don’t put words into my mouth.

        Irony.

        Censorship and propaganda, that’d be your field of expertise.

        A two-fer!

        I never argued for the papers merits.

        Oh damn, you have me there. [sulks]
        You guys all look the same to me anyway. There. I feel much better now.

        “Seems”, was giving your the benefit of the doubt that you might not be aware of your weaselling.

        Wriggle-wriggle. Lemme guess, I taught you all you know.

        Make your own points, please don’t steal mine!

        Imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery doncha know.

        I would never laugh at you, you scare me too much.

        Mmm, yes, I see. Mockery upsets you, angry critisicm not so much. I’ll keep that in mind.

        “Quick fella” was a complement (If a little backhanded). But if you see “arsehole” in it, you might look to yourself for those feelings of persecution.

        Fine line between empathy and projection, innit. Counter-projection is the real bitch.

        No, I feel dirty somehow, you know, “battle ye not with monsters” and all that…

        Oh boo hoo. You reached out to me first. Take some responsibility for yourself and stop trying to blame others for your own failings. But hey, look on the bright side, my rates are cheap …
        http://animewall.biz/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/lucy-peanuts-the-doctor-is-in.jpg
        … though you DO get what you pay for.

      • David A,

        Scott W, you have called BG exactly right.

        Oh dear, one more and you’ll have a consensus.

        He claims he likes to learn, admits he is ignorant concerning the study, then ignores many good comments demonstrating that the study is junk science.

        Claim … admit … ignore. I challenge you to go a whole post without using those words. What else am I ignoring? The price of tea in China for one. Shucks, I really must not want to learn anything.

        BG consider himself a gate keeper, and he lumps ALL WUWT posts into one basket.

        Tut tut. I have three — 1,2,3 — three! favourite WUWT posts, listed here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/03/28/the-desert-finder/#comment-1894423
        Which you will be able to review once the post comes out of moderation.
        Geez, I just noticed you’re chasing me around this thread repeating the same snippet about me “admitting to being ignorant of this study”. Man, I’m sure some kind of bee in your bonnet. Oh well, keep swatting away at me with your pathetic lies. It only makes you look more desperate to defend wilful ignorance and abject illiteracy.

      • Brandon Gates
        Before I made any direct comment to you, it was clear to me that you are on the sociopathic spectrum. I tried hard not to make appeals to your challenged empathy (Which is very very hard to do in polite English.) but you continued to behave as if I had.
        Your subsequent and continuing comments to me and others have been outrageously puerile. Are you aware of this? I genuinely wonder it you have you ever had your psychopathy measured.
        The kind of comments you have made, do you no service. Your cause, whatever it may have been, is now coloured by your ham-fisted ruthlessness.
        This is one of the things that strikes about the empathy challenged, you actually believe your lack of control is a virtue!

      • Brandon Gates
        You answer critique with pure drivel and revel in your own stupidity. You take disproportionate pleasure in unwarranted achievement. You dance around, excitedly upon any critical post but your responses are trite your reasoning juvenile and your arguments trivial.
        Dumb and psychopathic, good luck with that combination.

      • Scott Wilmot Bennett,

        Your subsequent and continuing comments to me and others have been outrageously puerile. Are you aware of this?

        I am aware that my comments have been vehement, ugly, rude and otherwise not fit for polite company. Deliberately so, consciously chosen.

        I genuinely wonder it you have you ever had your psychopathy measured.

        I have specifically asked. The answer was an emphatic negative. Do you have any more deeply private questions to ask me? Did you learn this protocol in finishing school?

        Your cause, whatever it may have been, is now coloured by your ham-fisted ruthlessness.

        A WUWT-defender tone-trolls me and says I damage my cause, after speculating about my self-awareness. With a straight face. Do you read this blog on a regular basis?

    • Brandon Gates doesn’t think CO2 is plant food. He thinks the phrase “CO2 is plant food” isn’t simply an accurate statement, but evidence of an obvious slant in the person making it. Hmmm.

      I regularly sprout broccoli and alfalfa seeds in a mason jar in my kitchen. I start with two tablespoons of broccoli seeds and one tablespoon of alfalfa seeds. That isn’t enough to fully cover the bottom of the jar with a thin layer of seeds. I usually do this Sunday night before I go to bed. I then fill the jar with tap water and let them soak overnight. For the next several days, I rinse the seeds twice a day, morning and night, with tap water. That takes about half a minute for each rinse.
      Friday morning, I empty the one quart jar that is now filled to overflowing with sprouts and place them on a cookie sheet that I lined with wax paper. I place that on a table across from a glass door that looks out on our backyard. When I get home from work Friday evening, I give the now green sprouts a longer rinse – to remove most of the seed husks – and then stuff them back into the jar.
      So, in less than 120 hours from start to finish, with nothing added by me but tap water, with the seeds simply sitting on my kitchen counter in a jar open to the air for more than 90% of the elapsed time, I have more than a quart of nutritious and delicious sprouts. Where did all that mass come from Brandon? What does it consist of?

      • I’ve been walking on my lunch hour, thinking about what I wrote above. Much of the gain in mass must be water. After all, one adjective I would use to describe my sprouts is ‘juicy’! In fact, probably most of the gain in mass is water.
        Yet, I don’t believe sprouts are simply “water balloons” – stretched out and filled with water. If I had to guess, I would say a higher percentage of the mass of a juicy orange is water than is true of my sprouts.
        Yet, as I wrote above, most of the greening takes place on the last day. So, most of the photosynthesis must take place on that last day, as well. And photosynthesis is the only mechanism I know of by which carbon can be added to the plant mass, to increase the overall mass in my mason jar.
        Also, I think it is fair to say one of the primary characteristics of a seed is that it is tightly compacted. Most likely, my sprouts have “unwound and unpacked”.
        So, while I still doubt there was no gain in mass besides water in my mason jar, I must admit, the marvelous filling of my jar in less than a week is not proof that large amounts of carbon was pulled from the air.
        Of course, a mighty oak is certainly not coiled up inside that lowly acorn…

        • It varies somewhat by species, but in general plants are 45% to 50% carbon by dry weight, with the carbon almost entirely pulled from the air. There are various other processes involved, from the inclusion of animal life, decomposition after death (which releases some carbon), and incorporation of carbon into soils. But “just under half of the dry weight of the biosphere is carbon” is a pretty good rule of thumb.
          Many don’t appreciate that the normal metabolism of plants is to breathe oxygen and produce CO2, just like animals; this is common to almost all life with exceptions such as anaerobic bacteria. But plants also have photosynthesis going on, which is slave labor performed by bacteria the plant cells captured and domesticated a billion-plus years ago. (We now call them chloroplasts, but they still have much of their original DNA from the time they were free-living bacteria.) That photosynthesis process produces much more oxygen than the plant needs, and thus leaves an excess.
          Our current 21% or so of oxygen is essentially a billion-plus years of photosynthesis waste gas. Life makes use of it, but it is indeed somewhat toxic; it’s a bit like society’s relationship with nuclear fuel. And increasing the oxygen percentage brings on more damage more quickly.
          But over those same billion-plus years, plants have been starving themselves of CO2 as they took it out of the atmosphere and trapped it in their body mass, becoming part of the seabed and the rock strata. The last half-billion years, as land plants developed and spread, have been particularly bad. Plants were dooming themselves to slow suffocation, until humans came along and released some of the CO2 the plants had earlier sequestered. This is, on balance, a good thing!
          Plants evolved in an atmosphere with an order of magnitude more CO2 than currently obtains. It is amazing that they could still grow at all. But somewhere in the 150ppm range, growth stops and plants die.
          Isn’t it odd to think of a substance as a “pollutant” where, if two-thirds of it were removed, it would effectively end most life on the planet? This would be the case if our current 400ppm were cut to 133ppm.
          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      • Matt Schilling says:
        I must admit, the marvelous filling of my jar in less than a week is not proof that large amounts of carbon was pulled from the air.
        I think it proves exactly that, Matt. CO2 is plant food. Not only that, but CO2 is the major building block of all plants, from seed to maturity. It is required for making all cellulose, sugars, leaves, bark, roots, etc.
        Gedanken: when you put a seedling in a pot, as it grows, the dirt in the pot does not deplete. It stays at the original level, no matter how big the plant gets.
        That tells us that the plant isn’t using the dirt to grow [except for some very minor trace elements, etc.] Almost 100% of the plant growth comes from CO2 — directly from the 0.04% of CO2 in the air.
        That explains the recent rise in agricultural productivity — a real, measurable result of the added CO2. Therefore, on net balance the rise in CO2 from fossil fuels is beneficial to the biosphere. No credible evidence has been found that CO2 is globally harmful. None at all. Nor is there credible evidence that rising CO2 causes anything but the most minuscule warming; a rise in T that is too small to even measure. Thus, the CO2=AGW argument takes another big hit. It only remains standing due to the immense piles of taxpayer loot propping up the climate scare.
        Count on the alarmist crowd to ignore all the proven benefits of more CO2 — a trace gas that is every bit as essential to life on Earth as H2O — because the alarmist crowd always disregards any cost/benefit analysis. They argue from either a political motivation [joelshore], or from a religious/closed-minded motivation [warrenlb], or from a desire for carbon taxes [government bureaucrats and politicians], or from a fixation psychosis [Gates], or from personal aggrandizement [Mann]. Or in many cases, from a combination of those motivations. But they do not argue based on the Scientific Method. As Prof Feynman said, you are the easiest one to fool. That applies to all those named here. They are fooling themselves. [Not you, Matt.]
        Scientific skeptics, on the other hand, are rational folks. We can see that more CO2 is a net benefit to living things, with no identifiable downside, despite decades of searching: there has never been any global harm due to CO2. Thus, CO2 is ipso facto ‘harmless’.
        But if the alarmist crowd admitted that, their argument would be debunked, and their fake climate scare would go down in flames. And then what would they do? Try to find productive jobs? No, perpetrating the ‘carbon’ hoax is much easier and more personally satisfying. It screws over everyone else. But then, what do they care about anyone else?

      • Thanks, dbStealey, for your reply at 10:35am.
        I am convinced atmospheric CO2 is plant food and I am amazed at Brandon’s dismissal of that fact. I am sure that an adult plant has pulled lots of carbon out of the air and has incorporated it into its overall mass. Yet, I am now less sure that “much” carbon was pulled out by my sprouts in their first five days.
        Certainly, lots of atmospheric CO2 will be “eaten” and incorporated into the living organism by the time broccoli and alfalfa plants have matured. But maybe not so much in the first five days. Isn’t photosynthesis the mechanism by which atmospheric CO2 is incorporated into a plant? Well, the sprouts green the most on the last day. (Yet, I do not shield them from ambiant light in my kitchen, and a portion of the sprouts are already green when I first spread them out on my cookie sheet.)
        So, I think it is a good guess that the mass in my mason jar – even without the water – is greater Friday evening than it was the prior Sunday night. I just think my initial comment went too far.
        I know I’m going to pay more attention in the future to the grow seen on that fifth day! (I’m sprouting seeds at home right now.)

  13. Eyeroller: UW Madison says weather, er ‘climate change’ is affecting soybean yields amid record high yields

    A few weeks ago I saw the TWC use the term “Climate Shock” (I had the sound muted.).
    I know this post deals with higher soybean yields, thus more food, thus “supply and demand” may have something to do with any perceived financial loss (less profit per bushel but more bushels to sell), but I wonder what is happening to corn yields? More corn to shuck?
    If so, I say, “Climate Change”, shock on!”

  14. Really telling for the state of the human thought process where a record high crop counts as a loss. People have gone over the deep end with their blind belief and will twist anything to point a finger of blame.

  15. All that Global Climate Change Warming thingy is making one thing happen. Seems it is the root cause of University professors going full Batshit Crazy Moonbat.
    The jokes just write themselves.

  16. Averaging the data across the United States, researchers found that soybean yields fell by around 2.4 percent for every one-degree rise in temperature.
    Because the states with the biggest yield losses are also the nation’s biggest soybean producers, the national impact comes out to a 30 percent yield loss overall.
    1.2 Degrees times 2.4 = almost 3%. Not 30% Are they sure this isn’t just a misplaced decimal point?

  17. I notice that the other two states mentioned, Arkansas and Kentucky, joined Ohio in posting record yields in 2013 (the most recent year with data posted). For Arkansas: “The historical high soybean yield of 43.5 bu.\ac. occurred in 2013.”
    And for Kentucky: “Soybean production for Kentucky was estimated at a record 81.2 million bushels, an increase of 38 percent from 2012. Both acres for harvest and yield were up from the previous year. Yield was estimated at 49.5 bushels per acre, 9.5 bushels above a year ago and the highest yield on record surpassing the 2009 crop at 48.0. Acreage for harvest as beans was estimated at 1.64 million acres, up 170,000 acres from the previous year. U.S. soybean production was estimated at 3.29 billion bushels, up 1 percent from the November 1 forecast and up 8 percent from 2012.”
    So. Did they intentionally stop their data during the year of the drought? Or are they using “Olympic averages,” which use three of five years (throwing out high and low years) and thus can make a big increase actually look like a decline?
    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  18. The science is 100% settled on this. Increased CO2 levels cause plants to grow faster and bigger, in many if not all cases with less water, i.e. more efficiently.
    It also means the plant transpiraction mechanism for a (latent)heat ( of vapourisation) transfer mechanism from surface to upper atmosphere is increased.
    Oh, that would be a negative feedback wouldn’t it. Sorry, I forgot. I should not talk about such things. Such matters are ‘haram’.

    • The increased CO2 is simply going to make all plants grow larger and/or more lush and yields will just keeping going up.
      It will be possible to grow crops on land which does not get enough rainfall right now.
      Here is a map of Earth’s vegetation at the Last Glacial Maximum when CO2 levels were 185 ppm and rainfall was about half of today. Desert and C4 grass and tundra. Look for the light blue and greens to see where C3 soybeans could grow with low CO2 levels.
      http://stommel.tamu.edu/~baum/paleoveg/veg-adams-big.gif

      • When did most of southern Canada end up as “ice”? Lot of nice country there and very mild 8 months of the year. Where I live (western coast) we have MAYBE 2 ” of snow per year. Wonder about this graph…

      • John Young,
        As Bill Illis explained:
        Here is a map of Earth’s vegetation at the Last Glacial Maximum when CO2 levels were 185 ppm and rainfall was about half of today.

  19. At some point the linear trend has to end. There is only so much genetics can do. Based on the graphic above it looks like 2005 was kind of the end of progress. From that point on seasonal variation probably has become the deciding factor. Wishing for 100 bushels / acre because that’s the way the trend is headed is unreasonable. 2014 looks equally as likely to yield 40 as it was “expected”to be 50.
    It’s good to know that higher co2 helps improve overal crop yield – especially in climatically stressful years. The irony burns.

    • Yes, the data ends when the cooling began.
      It is cold now. Ground is frozen longer. The ground on my own farm today is frozen solid and it is April tomorrow. My maple trees have sap still rising but doing this in a trickle, they should have been long finished and the flowers (they do have green flowers!) should have already blossomed and the leaf buds out instead the buds on all my trees are tiny, as if it is early March, not early April weather.
      I expect yields to begin dropping for farmers in the Midwest as sunspot activity fades and we go into a solar minimum cycle that will last the next 30+ years.

  20. The best advice I have for farmers is to keep doing what you have been doing and completely ignore these idiots.

  21. It is an excellent premise.
    The only problem with it is that there are no “weather variations resulting from climate change”.
    Also the CO2 plant-food thingie that Kirkc pointed out. One’d have to factor in that too, wouldn’t one?

  22. Could the UW do a study to see if the decrease in yield due to temperature was more or less than the increase in yield do to the 100 PPM increase in CO2 over the past 60 years?
    Never collect data that could contradict your preconceived outcome

  23. Here’s the Pine Bluff, Arkansas WX history for July, 2014 (basically mid-season for beans and on the West edge of their soybean area)
    WEATHER OBSERVED NORMAL DEPART LAST YEAR`S
    VALUE DATE(S) VALUE FROM VALUE DATE(S)
    NORMAL
    ……………………………………………………….
    TEMPERATURE (F)
    AVG. MAXIMUM 85.6 92.2 -6.6 90.6
    AVG. MINIMUM 67.3 71.9 -4.6 69.1
    MEAN 76.4 82.0 -5.6 79.9
    DAYS MAX >= 90 9 21.6 -12.6 19
    DAYS MAX <= 32 0 0.0 0.0 0
    DAYS MIN <= 32 0 0.0 0.0 0
    DAYS MIN <= 0 0 0.0 0.0 0
    PRECIPITATION (INCHES)
    RECORD
    MAXIMUM 14.16 1936
    MINIMUM 0.00 1886
    TOTALS 2.03 3.93 -1.90 1.25
    JULY WILL LONG BE REMEMBERED AS ONE OF THE COLDEST ON RECORD. THERE
    WERE SEVERAL PERIODS DURING THE MONTH WITH TEMPERATURES FALLING INTO
    THE 60S…AND HIGHS ONLY IN THE 70S. FOR THE SECOND JULY IN A
    ROW…THERE WERE NO TEMPERATURES AT OR ABOVE 100 DEGREES. FOR THE
    FIRST TIME SINCE 2007…THERE WERE NO TEMPERATURES ABOVE 96 DEGREES.
    EVEN THOUGH RAINFALL WAS BELOW AVERAGE…IT WAS STILL WETTER THAN
    LAST JULY.
    ***********************************************************************
    max temps averaged 6.6° F BELOW NORMAL
    min temps averaged 4.6° F BELOW NORMAL
    Precip was 1.9" BELOW NORMAL (roughly half of normal)
    So, Arkansas had cool and dry — two years running. But the reduced yields were due to — HEAT?????

    • BTW, here’s what they say about temps:
      ———————————————————
      .MONTHLY TEMPERATURES…
      THE AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURE WAS THE COLDEST SINCE 1940…AND THE
      COLDEST ON RECORD.
      THE AVERAGE LOW TEMPERATURE WAS THE COLDEST SINCE 1918…AND THE 3RD
      COLDEST ON RECORD
      THE AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE WAS THE COLDEST SINCE 1906…AND THE
      COLDEST ON RECORD.
      ——————————————————–
      Arkansas is really suffering from AGW. (source is NOAA – http://www.weather.gov/climate/ )

    • Arkansas did not have reduced yields, according to any data I’ve found. 2013 was a record for yield and for total production in each of the three states named as “losses” for soybeans (Ohio, Arkansas, Kentucky).
      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      • according to any data I’ve found.
        =============
        these were model losses. projections of what could have been if only things had been perfect, and the farmers had done exactly as told. actual losses don’t count cause what do farmers know about crops or weather? it isn’t like they spend time studying them like the researchers do.

      • Correct. A bad choice of words on my part. Reduced as in reduced below the “hypothetical ultimate” yield the UWM paper claims could be achieved if it was not for warm temps — except the temps were not warm, as last July was “ONE OF THE COLDEST ON RECORD” according to NOAA.

      • This ‘study’ ended before 2013 so the data showing the strong cooling going on now isn’t in the study.
        Besides that, the ‘researchers’ are paid to find more reasons for forcing us to live in Tiny Houses and ride bikes and eat only soy beans has to be supported with studies showing that we are roasting to death even though it is very significantly colder than the 1930s and soon will be as cold as when Washington crossed the Delaware River at Christmas.

  24. …. the impressive annual growth seen in soybean yields thanks to other factors. But that growth could have been 30 percent higher if weather variations resulting from climate change had not occurred ….
    Based on models, which are assumed to be more a reflection of reality than …. reality.
    If God or Allah were truly pleased with us, soybean yields would be up 83% from what they are, according to my religious modelling. Since they are just a lot better than they used to be, I have proof that we have displeased our deity.
    What bizarre, circular reasoning is publishable these days!

  25. Yields and production are only numbers, feelings are what counts.
    e.g. climate scientists felt the 1930s should have been cooler and so it came to be.

  26. I guarantee you that if we were subsidizing this crop in the name of Global Climate [whatever we’re calling it today], making “soybean ethanol” and government was mandating that we cram it into our cars and trucks to ruin the engines these bumper crops would be touted as a huge success story on every Progressive news program, Warmist web site and newspaper in the USSA.

  27. Are those researchers blind? Is really not clear?
    There’s nothing so rare as an average year.

  28. Just when you think dumb can’t get any dumber, along comes nonsense like this, taking dumb to a new level.

  29. every thing I have read, seen and even tried (on small scale 2 acre cornfields) has shown me no-till in a crop rotation scenario (like corn-soy) leads to seed rot unless you let the field sit unused a season.
    friggin hippies.

    • but but but.. these all natural methods must be best because they are er, natural. like living in a solar heated cave, way better than any house.

      • lol yeah…the advocates say the no till and drill planters (all this stuff able to get grants/subsidies too) work better than till and seed (present use) and will save a lot of money yet I do not see a lot of farmers themselves advocating for it.
        rather I have heard, again in a rotation type scenario, there always were issues.
        now in non crop rotation field I do not know, I suspect it would work well actually even w/o drill planters. thats just a guess though.

    • and I note the push to breeding n no till in it
      ie
      the big agri are ramping up yet more gmocrapcrops and no till is THE daftest idea as above roots either rot or dry out n compact no oxygen in soil no bringing up of subsoil minerals and incorporation of litter
      sells shitloads of chemicals though!

      • yeah they do advocate using lot more weed killers for the fast growing weeds.
        yet producing the weed killer takes lot of…OIL !!!

  30. I would be interested in seeing the stats before 1973 Global temperatures increased from 1910 to 1940, then declined to around 1976. If the US corn & soy regions did the same, the stats could be inmformative.

    • Corn back to 1900 shows essentially a flat trend line until the mid 1930s, then switching to a steady rise that continues through the current day. But soybeans (which I could only find back to 1923) is essentially on the current rising trend line from the beginning of the data.
      This article happens to have both graphs. The topic is Brazil, but the US data is shown for comparison:
      http://www.pecad.fas.usda.gov/highlights/2008/04/brazil/
      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      • Thanks, Keith. I was hoping for the long term data to show a correlation with temperature, so that we could all see what it was and put this issue to rest. But the yield just keeps rising through hot and cold, El Nino, La Nina, PDO, AMO – you name it, the yield doesn’t care.
        And then I realised that of course this does put the issue to rest : any reaction that soy beans have to temperature is irrelevant compared with all the other factors affecting yield. So the changes in temperature, whether we’re talking about 1970-2000, or 1940-1970, or 1910-1940, or any other period, just don’t matter – well not in comparison to farming practices, strain/variety development, etc. If the paper was correct, then we would see faster yield increase from 1940-1970, and slower yield increase from 1910-1940, but we don’t. So any claim, such as in the paper we’re discussing in this thread, that rising temperatures have caused yields to fall a massive 30% below what they would have been had the weather been cooler, are quite simply poppycock.
        Thinking about it just a little bit more : given that there is data going that far back, why did the paper use such a small subset? Was it because, with the full set of data, Blind Freddie could see they were being ridiculous?

  31. Mike A.- We don’t have enough information to calculate where the 30% came from. My understanding of the explanation above, is that the “loss” they have calculated is the change in yields after removing all other types of changes. ( Changes in Soybean genetics and management practices).So they are calculating this on a field by field basis? And if so, my big question is what temperature data did they use? Temperature at each field, or a regional average, or a global average ? Does anyone who has access to the study no how granular the study was for temperature, and was the delta measured year to year, or over a longer period of time? Unless they were looking at temperature change in the field they were measure management practice changes, how can one infer an average affect of temperature?

  32. I forecast soybean yields for a living. What this study states is the complete opposite of reality. The past 25 years have featured the best growing conditions/climate in the Midwest since humans began recording weather in this area.
    There has been only 1 severe, widespread drought during that time period(after going 24 straight years without one, a new record 1988-2013).
    The great Mississippi River flooding of 1993 was the other crop damaging weather event.
    In 2003, it was hot/dry in August but the cool weather before that was favorable for aphids. Many producers underestimated the aphid population that exploded and sucked the yields way down.
    Had nothing to do with climate change. Producers that sprayed aggressively as we recommended had much higher yields, those that didn’t, learned a lesson.
    Corn yields in 2003 were not down that much.
    At what point are these people not connected to reality with bogus studies like this going to be held accountable?

    • ‘The great Mississippi River flooding of 1993 was the other crop damaging weather event.’
      I remember that. People were going around in the office explaining that now was the time to put one’s money ‘big time’ into corn futures since the flooding had wiped out the corn crop. It sounded oh so logical and assured. Corn prices ended up dropping since the rainfall that caused the flooding happened to guarantee bumper yields elsewhere.
      ‘At what point are these people not connected to reality with bogus studies like this going to be held accountable?’
      Never. That’s the beauty of it. It just has to be perceived to succeed. It doesn’t really have to. Just jiggle the numbers. Farmers own a lot of land and the desire to get one’s hands on it must be satiated.

      • You remember that time?
        You are a PRECIOUS RESOURCE: I have found all my own longish life that knowing people who are 100 years old can be a great learning source and my godmother died at 105 when I was a 14 year old and she was my great teacher of what happened in the past.
        A lot of the ridiculous climate information is pouring out of universities thanks to an army of very foolish young people who grew up during the recent 30 year warm cycle and they don’t listen to us oldsters who grew up at the middle of the 1940-1960 warm cycle and then had to live through the bitter cold cycle of the 1970’s.

    • “At what point are these people not connected to reality with bogus studies like this going to be held accountable?”
      That’s the wonderful thing about Ivory Tower academia. It is NOT connected to reality. These folks are only accountable to other academics, who are in turn accountable only to other academics. Fearmongering, grant grubbing, and moral posturing rule the day.
      It is turtles, all the way down.

  33. after going 24 straight years without one, a new record 1988-2013).
    That should be 1988-2012

  34. Once again, the University of Wisconsin-Madison demonstrates why it manages to remain perennially in the top ten of party schools.

  35. Jeeziz. Soybeans are grown from Minnesota to southern Mississippi. So one degree makes a difference? Please!

  36. Soybeans are not fit to eat until you mush them and mix them with dry-wall dust, then marinate them in any combination of oil, garlic and X.
    Then, they’re delicious.
    Maybe that’s why steak is not as tasty as ginger tofu, even though the soy content of cows can be quite high; no gypsum and no garlic.
    Honestly, it’s like talking to the wall, here!

  37. It’s like opposite bizarro world. We have record yields but yet we talk about how yields are down due to climate change.
    We have record yields but yet we try to prove a negative and compare the record yields to model predictions and then Claim yields are down.
    It’s like reality does not matter.

  38. Shawn Conley is ‘farming’ the AGW cash cow. Unfortunately, he is teaching grad and undergraduate students to act with similar avarice and ‘selective science vision’ as he.
    His statements referring to the progression of record soybean yields of the last 3 decades as being 30% ‘losses’ is Orwellian double speak of the highest order… as well as a ‘projection’ of unadulterated bullshit proportions.
    It reminds me of the grasping socialists budgeting for 10% increases of tax revenues every year going forward… and, when the actual tax revenues only go up 4% one year, they call it a 6% cut to their budgets!
    My statistics professor at the University of Wisconsin – Madison called it “Lying With Statistics” back in 1980. It still is today. Like most universities, there are both rock solid academicians there as well as rent seeking shills.
    On a more positive note: How ’bout those Badger Basketball Boyz??!!!
    They made it to The Final Four for the second year in a row, from the starting field of the best 64 college basketball teams in the USA! The Badgers play the University of Kentucky Wildcats next Saturday. The Michigan State Spartans will play the Duke University Blue Devils on Saturday as well. The winners of those 2 match ups play for the national title on Sunday.
    Go BADGERS!!!!!

    • One subtlety: He isn’t using “three decades.” For Conley et al., for the purposes of this study history starts in 1994. The period studied is 1994-2013 (twenty years), though there is a reference to 1993 as well.
      At least he goes one year past the drought. His team was apparently able to exactly isolate the effects of genetics, as well as determining the impact of temperature and precipitation changes (independently) by month and by state, detrending all of the data for each of these. I’d wager that their formulae for these isolations would raise eyebrows among those actually familiar with the practices involved; the man’s own statements in the interview suggest that he is not.
      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      • Yes – typo/tapped 3 instead of 2…..
        As for their ability to “exactly isolate the effects of genetics, “etc……. I grew up on a farm and recognize BS when I encounter it.
        Mac

  39. Increases in yields are called losses. Where did they learn their accounting the Federal government?

  40. Used soybean oil from frying is the major ingredient of biodiesel in the US and most other countries producing significant amounts of biodiesel. So this may cause an internal contradiction within climate change alarmists. That is bound to be ‘a good thing’ IMHO. Now I wonder what other internationally increasing crop yields are likely to fit the same category – rape (for biodiesel), palm oil (for biodiesel), corn (for bioethanol), sugar beet (for bioethanol)?

  41. There are dozens, if not hundreds of influences on crop yields around the world.
    I reside in the middle of corn/soybean country and about 160 km south of UW Madison.
    Growing season temperatures in the mid-section are very well distributed while precipitation is not.
    My local CDD records show that the following Summers were hotter(>16%) than average:
    2012, 2005, 2002, 1995, 1988, 1983, 1978, 1970
    And the following Summers were cooler(<16%) than average:
    2014, 2009, 2008, 2004, 2000, 1997, 1996, 1992, 1986, 1974, 1967
    One can see a mild temperature influence in these years but it bounces right back into the uptrend the next year. And we're not even talking about the other economic and political influences on crop yields. The KSU graph still kicks a big hole in the UWM warming meme.

  42. To begin, their figure is deceptive. The red line trend would predict 45 while the bar is extended up to 47.5. If the bar was supposed to represent the potential 30% yield it would have been 58.5. So I cannot figure out what they have done. But plotting the red bar above the trend and then labeling everything red on the graph as “trend” is curious.

  43. FWIW, December 1979, one of the last non digital dissertations at UW:
    http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/005895593
    Despite its PC-ness, it’s still a great place and I’m in 110% for Bucky to scratch the ‘Cats out of the NCAA on Saturday. Bo Ryan is one of the greatest coaches and finest people ever to take to the hardwood.

  44. The same fuzzy math used in this hilarious paper is the same type of Progressive math used when discussing Federal Spending.
    This stupid paper makes the absurd assumption that crop yields would have “increased” 130% compared to the actual 100% increase we’ve experienced in crop yields since 1973…
    Progressives use the same logic when they say Federal spending has been “CUT 30%”, which actually means government hacks PLANNED to spend 30% more, compared to what was ACTUALLY spent, ignore the reality that Federal spending has actually increased 1,000%+ since 1973…
    Total Federal Spending 1973= about $350 billion
    Total Federal Speding 2014= $3.77 TRILLION… i.e. Government hacks wanted to spend $4.9 TRILLION but they “only” spent 3.77 Trillion (ergo, a 30% “cut” in spending…)
    No wonder the world is so screwed up with all this Progressive math…

  45. The message from the above figure is that soy production is a proxy for CO2 level and that rising CO2 is a good news story.
    But the politically correct response to this is that a good news story minus the good news can be made into a much more politically useful and acceptable bad news story.

  46. Much as I would like to post links to my ideas, I don’t think they’re a good idea. They stop people thinking. Someone posts a link, someone follows and reads it and thereafter labour under a delusion that they henceforth understand whatever it was.
    Would I be alone in thinking there are too many links already, too many graphs, too much information?
    My problem/question with this one is- how does anyone think modern agriculture affects ‘the weather’
    Especially consider how modern farming revolves around growing annual crops against a more natural situation where perennial plants rule the roost. Everywhere. All the time.
    Annuals are simply mother nature’s stop-gap to fill holes, they are emergency sticking plasters to cover the soil, protect the dirt after an injury – classically where a huge tree falls over in the forest.
    So, consider wheat. Barley, corn, soya etc are similar. We totally depend on annuals and their inbuilt desperate urge to produce a huge crop of seeds in one season. They only get one chance and have to grab it. The perennials are much more laid back.
    The precise figures here are not important so —
    Wheat has a ‘growing season’ of maybe 25 weeks, usually taken as the time from planting to harvest.
    The plants are only actively growing for maybe 12 to 14 weeks. They start as buried seeds and tiny seedlings that don’t take up much CO2 nor transpire much water for maybe 6 or 7 weeks.
    Close to harvest, they are effectively dead for the last 4 or 5 weeks of their ‘lives’
    Meanwhile, farmers have pumped up CO2 production from soil bacteria by force feeding them huge amounts of nitrogen. The bacteria work while the soil is warm enough for them.
    Compare that to perennials, Mother Nature’s preferred plants that would be actively taking up CO2 and transpiring water, at full tilt for the whole 25 weeks , strictly and in actuality, while soil temps are 5 degC or above.
    Think about it and maybe remember the words of native Hawaiians – ‘Plants bring rain’
    Note the order of that – its not a typo yet the reverse pervades so much thinking especially of warmists as they hack down the trees of South Carolina to feed Drax Power station in the UK. Those clowns are creating a desert all the while thinking they are saving the world. mad mad mad

    • Normally in nature all grasses are growing from extensive ROOTS and they turn brown or burn off in lightning fires, etc. but instantly grow like maniacs when it rains/warms up.
      If you PLOW THE LAND this is unnatural. So grasses that humans domesticated (even corn is a grass) have to grow from seeds and not roots and due to this, evolved to have more seeds than natural growing grasses.
      The Midwest natural grasses had very, very deep root systems to cope with the regular droughts/too hot/too cold weather shifts and most of this natural prairie has been plowed under and long gone.
      This is why farmers must worry about droughts, etc. They plant seeds which must have ideal conditions to establish roots.

    • Yes, you are from Cumbria so you know the Drax story very well.
      I am in the USA and first read about this here and could not believe that Drax would convert from burning coal to burning wood pellets and obviously you don’t have enough trees there so you will import the pellets from the USA and Canada.
      Supposedly this is your commitment to “renewable” and to prevent global warming or climate change.
      I could not believe that such nonsense would be proposed and supported in the British Isles.
      This was explained to me at a recent meeting here in the USA about being shale extraction, attended by representatives from 14 different countries. Some for it, some against it.
      The British Isles representative, opposed to shale extraction, gave me the following explanation for changing from coal burning to wood pellets burning when I told him that I could not believe they would do this.
      His explanation went this way:
      When you burn coal you produce CO2 which is responsible for global warming and coal is not renewable. Two strikes on you.
      When you burn wood pellets you produce CO2 but wood is renewable and the CO2 produced will be used by a tree. No strike on you.
      Get it?
      Just as good an explanation for why we must add ethanol in gasoline here in the USA, ethanol being produced from corn, obviously renewable!
      Sorry if I digressed from farming but your comments on Drax caught me by surprise.

    • “Force feeding them huge amounts of nitrogen.” The technical name for this figure of speech is hyperbole.
      Peta in Cumbria, I know you will never believe me, but farmers are not in it just for the love of the land. They are trying to make a profit. The key to profit in farming is to increase yields and reduce input costs. Fertilizer is one such input cost. The profitable farmers apply the minimum effective amount of nitrogen.
      Annuals evolved to cope with a feature of climate called a “season.” Whether for lack of water, like in the Nile valley between floods, or extreme cold, like in a Cumbrian winter, many plants will die at certain times of the year. To ensure survival of the species, the plant creates something called a “seed” that will germinate when conditions for life are achieved again.
      I’m alarmed at learning that additional nitrogen pumps up CO2 production. Is this the missing link in the climate models? Are you saying that global warming prevention efforts should be redirected to reducing the nitrogen abundance in the atmosphere?
      So the wheat stalk is effectively dead for the last 4 or 5 weeks of its life. That makes me wonder why the farmers don’t harvest earlier, because obviously the plant has stopped growing and is just taking up time and money. This reminds me of my boyhood pals who said that the way to get your beard to grow faster (and look more masculine) was to shave more often. Yeah right. That’s why you see farmers mowing their crops every day, to make them grow faster.
      And finally (at last, I hear you say) owners of forestry land don’t want to see their assets depreciate by turning into deserts, so as soon as a stand of timber has been felled they will re-plant.
      Dressing up your comment with a whole lot of factoids about growing cycles and colorful analogies about sticking-plasters doesn’t make it any more logical.

  47. “the additional heat is causing stress”
    If that’s the case we need additional CO2 as that reduces water consumption & stress in plants, 900 – 1,300 ppm is about correct.

  48. I really don’t get the fuss. If we replaced the climate change words with “it’s been hotter in some states”, this paper would remain true – basically hot = bad for yields. So when states get hotter, yields are below where they might have been. If hottest places stop growing soy or cooler places that have reached optimal soy growing temperature grew it, there would be more soy, or states changed their farming practices, this would be better. It contains a genuflection to climate change, but in reality it’s a fairly obvious paper saying when the temperature changes, yields of some crops fall and production is not optimal. As has no doubt been true for the whole of human history. (Showing yields have risen doesnt really prove much btw)

    • Well suppose all those extra soybeans had been grown? What would have happened to them? Wouldn’t the price have dropped, causing farmers to cut production anyway? It seems to be a big assumption among climate modelers that farmers do not change behavior as market conditions change. I guess it simplifies the math for them, same as so many other untenable assumptions they make do.

  49. It’s Bush’s fault.
    [Reply: You really need to pick one user name and stick with it. ~mod.]

  50. But wouldn’t 30 percent higher yields run counter to the environmentalist dogma that overpopulation is the real problem? Higher crop yields would only serve to encourage unbridled lust and fecundity, so their solution to climate change is self defeating.

  51. David A.’s information was on Kentucky was compelling. It appears soybean yield reductions in the south (although most of my friends in Ohio don’t think of themselves as south) are the result of the TOBS adustment. It’s thus clearly NCDC’s fault we have yield declines in the south. So if NCDC stops ‘adjusting’ the raw data, we get improving soybean yields and we destroy the CAWG myth with the dual benefit of more food and cheaper energy.

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